Iran Blames U.S. for “Economic and Medical Terrorism” and China for Covering Up Virus; Parliament Report Indicates Iranians Deaths Twice What Reported; Iranian Navy Harasses U.S. Fleeet

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani blasted U.S. sanctions, calling them “economic and medical terrorism.”  He also claimed the sanctions were imposed “in violation of international conventions” and hampered Iran’s ability to respond to the virus. Reported by i24 News. Read more…

Iran also blamed China, saying Peking’s official figures couldn’t be trusted. “After the virus spread, it became evident it wasn’t as China reported,” said Minoo Mohraz, an official in Iran’s Health Ministry. Reported by i24 News. Read more…

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompei and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently discussed the pandemic and Iran, focusing on “U.S. and Israeli efforts to contain and mitigate.” The pair also discussed “Iran’s destabilizing behavior.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Ten days ago, Iran’s health ministry reported 117 new deaths from coronavirus, which brought Iran’s total to more than 4,100 fatalities. However, the ministry also reported the latest figures showed a downward departure in the number of new infections. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

By Saturday, April 18, the death toll exceeded 5,000, but the number of daily deaths continued to decrease. Reported by The Jerusalem Post. Read more…

However, an Iranian parliamentary report stated that the number of deaths is likely double that reported by the health ministry due, in part, to undercounting and not enough testing. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

In other news, Iran’s ‘navy’ is up to its old tricks of harassing U.S. navy ships in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. navy described the tactics as “dangerous and unsafe approaches”—which are close encounters between Iranian-armed speed boats and navy ships. In one encounter 11 Iranian speedboats circled six U.S. ships, crossing bows and sterns at extremely close ranges. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…