In rejecting U.S. assistance to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday reinforced Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda that the virus originated in the United States.
“I do not know how real this accusation is but when it exists, who in their right mind would trust you to bring them medication?” Khamenei said. “Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.”
Khamenei also stated without offering any evidence that the virus “is specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians which they have obtained through different means. You might send people as doctors and therapists, maybe they would want to come here and see the effect of the poison they have produced in person.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the statement by Khamenei, saying that “fabrications regarding the Wuhan Virus are dangerous and they put Iranians and people around the world at greater risk.”
Pompeo added that “Facts matter. Here are a few the Iranian regime would like to keep from the world:
“Fact: In February, Iran’s chief terror airline, Mahan Air, ran at least 55 flights between Tehran and China, further infecting the Iranian people. At least five foreign countries’ first cases of coronavirus were directly imported from Iran, putting millions more lives at risk.
“Fact: The Iranian regime ignored repeated warnings from its own health officials, and denied its first death from the coronavirus for at least nine days. The regime continues to lie to the Iranian people and the world about the number of cases and deaths, which are unfortunately far higher than the regime admits.
“Fact: As Iranian regime officials ask for more funds, it is important to note that since 2012, Iran has spent over $16 billion on terror abroad, and used sanctions relief from the JCPOA to fill up its proxies’ coffers. Regime officials stole over a billion Euros intended for medical supplies, and continue to hoard desperately needed masks, gloves, and other medical equipment for sale on the black market.
“Fact: U.S. sanctions do not target imports of food, medicine and medical equipment, or other humanitarian goods. Iranian documents show their health companies have been able to import testing kits without obstacle from U.S. sanctions since January.
“Fact: The United States has offered over $100 million in medical assistance to foreign countries, including to the Iranian people, and our scientists are working tirelessly to develop a vaccine. Khamenei rejected this offer because he works tirelessly to concoct conspiracy theories and prioritizes ideology over the Iranian people.”
Related: Iran’s very bad year gets worse: Extensive Qom-China ties led to outbreak, March 17, 2020
Khamenei is not the only Iranian official to have suggested that COVID-19 is a biological attack by the U.S.
Hossein Salami, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), claimed earlier this month that the coronavirus outbreak “may be the product of the American biological invasion.”
Arutz Sheva reported that the coronavirus has killed at least 12 Iranian politicians and officials, both sitting and former, and infected 13 more who have either been quarantined or are being treated.
High-profile deaths in Iran from the coronavirus include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, a newly-elected member of parliament, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament.
Recently, it was reported that Iran’s senior Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, and two other Cabinet members have contracted the new coronavirus.
A top adviser to Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was also reported to have been infected with the virus.
Last week, Ayatollah Hashem Bathayi Golpayegani, a member of the Assembly of Experts that appoints and monitors Khamenei, died from the virus.