Pompeo: Khamenei’s lies “put Iranians, Americans, and the rest of the world at risk.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday slammed Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei for spreading the conspiracy theory that blamed the U.S. for the Coronavirus outbreak.
“Khamenei’s fabrications that the US is responsible for the Wuhan Virus [COVID-19] put Iranians, Americans, and the rest of the world at risk. Facts matter,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
The Iranian leader’s vile claims came in response to the American offer of assistance in fighting the epidemic. In a bizarre rant on Sunday, Khamenei accused the United States of creating the Wuhan virus, which he claimed was “specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians.” Rejecting American humanitarian assistance for the country struggling with the epidemic, he accused the U.S. of seeking to spread the disease further. “Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more,” the Iranian leader said.
All medical and humanitarian aid are exempt from the U.S. sanctions on Iran, Pompeo reiterated while extending the U.S. offer for help.
Pompeo blasted the Iranian regime for “ignored repeated warnings” at the onset of the outbreak and squandering billions of dollars of public wealth in funding terrorist proxies in the Middle East. He also pointed out the role played by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s military arm, in spreading the epidemic. The IGRC-run Mahan Air operated secretive flights until late February despite the full-blown outbreak of the virus on mainland China. “In February, Iran’s chief terror airline, Mahan Air, continued to fly at least 55 times between Tehran and China, spreading the WuhanVirus,” he added. “At least five countries’ first cases of COVID19 were a direct result of the Iranian regime’s disregard for everyone’s health.”
French news agency AFP reported Pompeo’s response to Tehran:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday accused Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of lying about the coronavirus pandemic as the Supreme Leader rejected US assistance for his hard-hit country.
In a televised address Sunday, Khamenei described the United States as “charlatans” and charged that Washington could bring in a drug to keep the virus alive.
Pompeo in a statement also used loaded language, accusing “Iran’s chief terror airline” Mahan Air of bringing in what he called the “Wuhan virus” through its continued flights to China.
“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,” Pompeo said.
He said that the United States remained open to offering aid and was “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,” Pompeo said.
He also signaled that the United States was unreceptive to the Islamic republic’s first-ever request for a loan from the IMF, where Washington effectively holds a veto, accusing the regime of funding “terror abroad” with its resources.
Here is Pompeo’s Twitter thread exposing Tehran’s culpability in Coronavirus outbreak:
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 23, 2020
Both China and Iran have turned to wild conspiracy theories to divert domestic anger from their failure in dealing with the pandemic. A week before Khamenei cited unfounded allegations blaming the U.S., Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian sent out a series of tweets from his official account, accusing the U.S. military of planting the deadly virus in China.
These allegations come amid Beijing’s efforts to cover-up the origins of the virus that first surfaced in the central Chinese city of Wuhan around late 2019. The Communist regime detained whistleblowers and spread misinformation, abut the nature of the disease. Despite undeniable fact on the ground, Chinese authorities kept on denying the human-to-human transmission of the virus, as late as mid-January.
The Iranian regime is trading in lies and misinformation at a time when the Coronavirus has claimed nearly 2,000 Iranian lives, according to official sources. Close to 25,000 cases have been reported across Iran. The actual figures could be much higher, as the regime is involved in a major cover-up, digging a secret mass grave to bury the victims, satellite imagery shows.
The Wuhan virus has also taken a significant toll on the regime’s top operatives, killing several commanders of the IRGC, a U.S. designated terrorist organization. The virus has also struck Khamenei’s inner circle, taking out one of his aides and infecting another. His aide, Ali Akbar Velayati, is currently undergoing treatment after contracting the disease. Velayati is the mastermind of the 1994 car bombing of the Jewish center in Argentina that killed 85 people. Regime’s top terrorist-turned-diplomat, Hossein Sheikholeslam, who interrogated American hostages after the storming of the U.S. embassy in Tehran forty years ago, has also died of the virus.
‘Pompeo blasts China, Iran for virus response.’
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