Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (Reuters)

March 4, 2020

An outbreak of novel coronavirus has affected almost all of Iran’s provinces, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday as the death toll reached 92.

“This disease is a widespread disease,” he said, according to the official presidency website.”It has reached almost all our provinces and in one sense it’s a global disease.”

Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced at a news conference that the virus has killed 92 people amid 2,922 confirmed cases across the country.

Rouhani said Iran would get through the outbreak with minimum deaths and in the shortest period of time with the skills of its doctors and nurses.

He also took a jab at an American offer to help with the virus outbreak without mentioning the United States directly.

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States had offered to help Iran with the outbreak.

“They’ve appeared with a mask of sympathy that ‘we also want to help the people of Iran’,” Rouhani said. “If you are really telling the truth, then lift sanctions from medicine.”

The virus has sickened top Iranian leaders. Iran stands alone in how the virus has affected its government, even compared to hard-hit China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The vast majority of cases and fatalities have been in China where tens of millions of people have been placed under quarantine, but infections are rising faster abroad now.

The disease is appearing in new countries almost every day, with Iran, Italy and South Korea facing growing caseloads.

Around 93,108 people have been infected and around 3,201 have died worldwide.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.