February 28, 2020

AMERICA OFFERS TO HELP THE IRANIAN PEOPLE COMBAT THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC: The link goes to U.S. State Department website and a press statement made by SecState Mike Pompeo.

Extended quote:

The United States stands with the people of Iran during the public health crisis caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The U.S. Government is prepared to assist the Iranian people in their response efforts. This offer of support to the Iranian people, which has been formally conveyed to Iran through the Government of Switzerland, underscores our ongoing commitment to address health crises and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

The United States calls on Iran to cooperate fully and transparently with international aid and health organizations. We will continue to work closely with countries in the region to help address unmet needs in response to the virus.

Persons interested in providing support to the Iranian people should note that certain donations to Iran intended to relieve human suffering, including the donation of medicine, are exempt from U.S. sanctions…

The statement delivers a diplomatic three-fer. (1) It’s noble and generous –the right action to take in a humanitarian crisis. (2) Sanctions exemptions demonstrate by deed that the U.S. opposes “Death to America” ayatollahs, not the Iranian people. (3) It challenges the Iranian dictatorship to behave with “transparency.” If the ayatollah regime fails to do so, it is responsible for increasing the epidemic risk the Iranian people confront.

UPDATE: The BBC reports that Iran has rejected the U.S. offer.

A telling quote:

A member of the Tehran City Council told Ilna news agency that “the number of infected patients may rise to 10,000 or 15,000” in the coming weeks.

The head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies programme, Dr Michael Ryan, said on Thursday that the apparent high mortality rate in Iran indicated its outbreak might be more widespread than realized.

Stay tuned.

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