TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_Dubowitz claimed on Twitter Tuesday that coronavirus has halted Iran’s non-oil exports, achieving “what American economic sanctions could not.”
“Coronavirus has done what American economic sanctions could not: shut down non-oil exports.” https://t.co/qVeS0stwEn— Mark Dubowitz (@mdubowitz) February 25, 2020
Araqchi, in response, said Wednesday that cheering for a deadly virus to spread is shameful, noting that at least Dubowitz "understands that the American economic sanctions were not -- and will not -- as effective as a Covid-19 Virus."
It's shameful and downright inhuman to cheer for a deadly Virus to spread - and enjoy seeing people suffer for it, but at least @mdubowitz understands that the American economic sanctions were not -- and will not -- as effective as a Covid-19 Virus.#Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/l6aCLGug7D— Seyed Abbas Araghchi (@araghchi) February 26, 2020
In another outrageous and unfounded claim, Dubowitz said that Tehran has “spread terrorism” in the Middle East and “now it’s spreading the coronavirus.”
Nearly 140 people have been tested positive for coronavirus in Iran since the infection was identified in a city in central country last week. The government has put the number of deaths as a result of the virus at 19 as of Wednesday noon local time
Dubowitz's remarks come as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tuesday issued warnings about the virus, urging Americans to prepare and take precautionary measures.
"The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC's head of respiratory diseases, told reporters on a conference call.
The warning came as President Donald Trump said on Twitter Monday that the coronavirus is “very much under control in the USA.”
Meanwhile, growing economic pressure on Iran has hampered the country’s efforts to confront the outbreak of coronavirus as health bodies face restrictions importing test kits to detect the infection.
A board member at Iran’s Association of Medical Equipment Importers said on Sunday that US sanctions as well as restrictions newly imposed on Iran by a global money laundering watchdog have made it increasingly difficult to access highly-needed test kits for coronavirus.
Under mounting pressure from Washington, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided on Friday to place Iran on its blacklist, making it more difficult for Iranian banks to settle payments with foreign counterparts.