Iran’s Khamenei rejects U.S. help offer, vows to defeat coronavirus

The United States’ offer to help Iran in its fight against the new coronavirus pandemic is strange, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech on Sunday, describing U.S. leaders as “charlatans and liars”.

Washington has offered humanitarian assistance to its longtime foe, the Middle Eastern country most affected by the coronavirus, with 1,685 deaths and 21,638 people infected.

Tensions between the two countries have been running high since 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump exited Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

“Several times Americans have offered to help us to fight the pandemic. That is strange because you face shortages in America. Also you are accused of creating this virus,” said Khamenei, an anti-U.S. hardliner who has the final say in Iran.