Iran's death toll from the new coronavirus has increased to 1,812, with 127 new deaths in the past 24 hours, a health ministry spokesman told state TV on Monday, adding that the country's total number of infected people has reached 23,049, Reuters reported.
Kianush Jahanpur said that in the past 24 hours, some 1,411 Iranians had been infected with the virus across the Islamic Republic, which has the worst outbreak in the Middle East.
However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of lying about the coronavirus pandemic as the Iranian supreme leader rejected US assistance for his hard-hit country, the Times of Israel reported.
In a televised address yesterday, 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 uses loaded language, accusing “Iran’s chief terror airline” Mahan Air of bringing in what he calls 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 says.
An activist on social media said that Iran continues to exploit people's suffering to call on the US to lift sanctions, although it still sticks to its destructive behavior and crimes against humanity.
Despite the increasing death toll, Iran’s supreme leader still refuses US assistance, under the pretext of a possible conspiracy.
“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?” Khamenei said. “Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.”
He also alleged without offering any evidence that the 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.