US sanctions make for coronovirus Iran’s toughest year: Rouhani

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DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that his country was experiencing its toughest year due to US sanctions related to the Kovid-19 epidemic.
The coronovirus crisis has exacerbated economic problems after US President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers in 2018 and lifted sanctions. The Iranian Rial currency fell to its lowest level against the US dollar on Monday.
“This is the most difficult year because of the enemy’s economic pressures and epidemics,” Rouhani said in a speech.
“The economic pressure that began in 2018 has increased … and today it is the toughest pressure on our beloved country.”
Iran has seen a rapid rise in coronovirus infections and deaths as sanctions were gradually lifted from mid-April to prevent the spread of the epidemic. The death toll has recently crossed 100 for the first time in two months.
Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said that in the last 24 hours some 2,489 new cases were registered, totaling 222,669. He said 144 people were killed, bringing a total of 10,508 people.
Rouhani said it would be mandatory to wear masks for two weeks starting next Sunday at “gathering spots” considered “redding spots”.
Senior officials have regularly warned that the restrictions will be re-enforced if health regulations such as social disturbances are not followed to prevent an increase in infections.
Iran launched a campaign on Saturday to induce the public reluctant to use face masks.

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