Trump Virus, COVID-19 Responsible for Iran’s Economic Situation: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the US sanctions and its economic war on Iran coupled with the coronavirus pandemic have spelt numerous difficulties for the people of Iran over the past three and a half years, stressing that things would have been markedly different without them.

Rouhani said a recent analysis has shed light on the likely situation of Iran’s economy if there was no Donald Trump administration in the US and there was no coronavirus pandemic.

“Based on the analysis, if there were no Trump and COVID-19 viruses, today the country’s economic growth would have been 4.1 percent excluding oil and 8.3 percent including oil revenues. The inflation would have been 11.5 percent and the US dollar exchange rate would have been lower than 50,000 rials. The investment growth would have been 4.7 percent and the GDP figure would have been 22 percent more than what we are witnessing now,” Rouhani said during the Wednesday meeting of his cabinet.

The president also stressed that his government has done everything at its power to counter the economic war and the coronavirus pandemic.

“The 12th government has spared no effort in the course of getting the nuclear deal implemented and removing the sanctions and has exploited every single opportunity, hour and minute in the process,” he said.

The president added that the current US administration, in its pre-election campaign, repeatedly dismissed the former administration’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal as a mistake and acknowledged that sanctions lead nowhere.

Rouhani, however, said Trump’s crimes and economic terrorism against Iran continue unabated, even after the change in the US administration. He said President Joe Biden would betray American’s vote if its follows suite on Donald Trump’s policy.

“If Biden takes the implementation of the nuclear deal lightly, he has betrayed the vote Americans cast for him,” he said.

“Anti-Iran accusations are baseless and unjustified as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a proof that shows Iran is not after nuclear weapons”.

The president said the Trump administration went beyond imposing sanctions, and even an economic war, on Iran.

“Is there is a war, you know about, in which supplies of medicine for patients were prevented? Despite the huge difficulties, the Iranian people resisted well in the face of this incessant terrorism, and today, if a number of issues are resolved, people can claim their inalienable right,” he said.

Iran has completed six rounds of talks on revival of the 2015 nuclear deal in the Austrian capital Vienna. Iran says it will return to compliance with its obligations under the accord once other signatories, especially the US, do the same. Iran says a key step would be removal of anti-Iran sanctions in a verifiable manner. But the US has so far refused to end the restrictions.

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