Trump offered a number of the US’ “excess ventilators” to Iran during a press briefing on Saturday. “If they need ventilators, which they do, I would send them ventilators,” Trump said.
Though the offer was a humanitarian one on its surface, Trump followed it up with a characteristic flex on Iran. “Right now they just want to survive,” he said, adding “they’re loaded up with the plague.”
Zarif slapped away Trump’s likely backhanded offer on Sunday. “Iran will be EXPORTING ventilators in a few months,” he wrote in a tweet addressed to Trump. “All you need to do is stop interfering in the affairs of other nations; mine especially.”
Iran will be EXPORTING ventilators in a few months, @realdonaldtrump.
All you need to do is stop interfering in the affairs of other nations; mine especially.
And believe me, we do not take advice from ANY American politician.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 19, 2020
“And believe me, we do not take advice from ANY American politician.”
Trump’s gesture was one of several American overtures to Tehran since the outbreak of Covid-19. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in February that he offered to help Iran contain its coronavirus outbreak, claiming that the country’s health infrastructure couldn’t handle the pandemic.
Iran was among the world’s worst-hit countries by the virus at the time, but when cases began to mount in the US a month later, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the American offer “strange,” and replied: “You are suffering from shortages… If you have anything, use it on yourselves.”
The US has imposed strict trade sanctions against the Islamic Republic because of its nuclear proliferation program. Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018 and had escalated the sanctions. Now, Iran is unable to carry out trade activities.
Other European countries like the UK, Germany, France have expressed their satisfaction with the Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, but it is only the US that has expressed reservations.
RT with additional input from GVS News Desk.