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Pompeo says US offered to help Iran with coronavirus response

Pompeo says US offered to help Iran with coronavirus response

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was "deeply concerned by information indicating the Iranian regime may have suppressed vital details about the outbreak" (Photo: AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday (Feb 28) the United States has offered to help with the coronavirus response in Iran, where the outbreak has killed 34 people, and raised doubts about Tehran's willingness to share information.

"We have made offers to the Islamic Republic of Iran to help," Pompeo said in a hearing at House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

"Their healthcare infrastructure is not robust and to date, their willingness to share information about what's really going on inside ... Iran has not been robust and I am very concerned that ... it is Iran that is not sharing information."

The new coronavirus which emerged in Wuhan, China, in December has infected tens of thousands of people.

The Islamic Republic is the only country in the Gulf region that has reported deaths from the coronavirus, which has spread from China. People also have been infected in Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Tehran had already cancelled Friday prayers in the capitals of 23 of Iran's 31 provinces because of the outbreak, including in Tehran and the Shi’ite Muslim holy cities of Qom and Mashhad.

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Source: Reuters/nr

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