Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that his country was experiencing the most difficult year to pass because of the US sanctions that accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic.
The crisis of the newly created Coronavirus has exacerbated economic problems that have already worsened since US President Donald Trump decided in 2018 to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran and reimpose sanctions.
On Monday, the Iranian currency fell to an all-time low against the US dollar.
“”It is the most difficult year because of the economic pressure from the enemy and the pandemic,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.
He continued, “The economic pressure that started in 2018 has increased … and today it is the most severe pressure on our dear country.”
Iran has seen a significant increase in the number of infections and deaths caused by the emerging Coronavirus, since the lifting of restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the disease gradually since mid-April. The daily death toll from the disease recently exceeded 100 for the first time in two months.
Sima Sadat Larry, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health, told state television that 2489 new cases of infection had been recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 222669. She added that the number of deaths had increased to 10,508 after 144 new cases were recorded.
Rouhani said that the use of masks will become mandatory for two weeks, starting next Sunday in “gathering places” that are considered “red areas” due to the spread of the disease in them.
Senior officials have repeatedly warned that restrictions may be imposed again if rules such as social estrangement are not complied with to limit the increasing number of infections.
On Saturday, Iran launched a campaign to encourage citizens to use masks.