US Secretary of State Condemns Iran’s ‘Lies’ About CCP Virus

March 23, 2020 Updated: March 23, 2020
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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has criticized Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for spreading lies about the CCP virus pandemic.

Khamenei has made “dangerous” fabrications regarding the new illness, Pompeo said in a scathing statement on March 23.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic. Some Trump administration officials have been calling it the Chinese virus or the Wuhan virus.

Iran’s role in the spread of COVID-19, which originated in China last year, include its primary airline running dozens of flights between Tehran and China in February, “further infecting the Iranian people,” Pompeo said.

“At least five foreign countries’ first cases of coronavirus were directly imported from Iran, putting millions more lives at risk,” he added.

Epoch Times Photo
A member of a medical team wears a protective mask following the CCP virus outbreak, as he prepares disinfectant liquid to sanitize public places in Tehran, Iran, on March 5, 2020. (WANA/Nazanin Tabatabaee via Reuters)

Iran’s leaders also ignored warnings from health officials in the country and denied the first domestic death from the virus for at least nine days.

Pompeo also alleged that Iran is misrepresenting U.S. sanctions on the Middle Eastern country, which don’t 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,” he said.

Khamenei rejected the United States’ offer of millions of dollars in medical assistance “because he works tirelessly to concoct conspiracy theories and prioritizes ideology over the Iranian people,” Pompeo added.

Pompeo’s rebuttal came after Khamenei made a number of dubious claims in an address to his people, including promoting a conspiracy theory from the Chinese Communist Party that the U.S. military brought the illness to China in the first place.

Rejecting a U.S. offer of assistance, Khamenei said: “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? Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.”

Epoch Times Photo
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the Iranian New Year Nowruz, in Tehran, Iran, on March 20, 2020. (Official Khamenei website/Handout via Reuters)

He also claimed that the CCP 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,” he said.

Some of the statements were also posted on Twitter, where they remained untouched as of March 23.

In one post, Khamenei said that offers of assistance from the United States were “strange.”

“Based on the words of your own officials, you face shortages in the U.S. So use what you have for your own patients,” he said, before making the claims.

While most other countries have seen mortality rates of 3 percent or lower, Iran has recorded more than 1,800 deaths from COVID-19, for a mortality rate of about 7.8 percent. The rate in the United States, which has about 500 deaths, is 1.2 percent.

While Iran has officially reported approximately 23,000 cases, experts believe the country has been manipulating the number of cases and deaths.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber