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U.S. Sanctions Deny Us Food and Medicine Mid-Pandemic, Iran Foreign Minister Says

Iran’s foreign minister has accused the U.S of “conspiring to starve a population” during the coronavirus pandemic with its fresh round of sanctions that are expected to hit its economy hard.



Mohammad Javad Zarif sitting in front of a screen: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Arbil, the regional capital in northern Iraq, on July 19, 2020. He has blamed the U.S. of denying Iranians food and medicine.


© SAFIN HAMED/Getty Images
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Arbil, the regional capital in northern Iraq, on July 19, 2020. He has blamed the U.S. of denying Iranians food and medicine.

The comments by Mohammad Javad Zarif come after the U.S. slapped fresh sanctions on the financial sector of the Islamic republic targeting 18 banks and further isolating the country from the global banking sector.

The measures by the U.S. come days before a United Nations arms embargo on the country is set to expire and threaten to effectively lock Iran out of the global financial system, with possibly dire consequences for its currency, the rial, and its economy.

Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary said in a statement that the latest sanctions aimed to cut off Tehran’s “illicit access to U.S. dollars,” and tough measures would continue “until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programmes.”

But Zarif condemned the move, tweeting: “Amid Covid19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine. Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties.”

Pompeo Says Iran May Have Censored Details About Coronavirus Outbreak

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Video: Japarov supporters clash with opposition groups in Bishkek. (AFP)

Poll: More blame US government than foreign nations for coronavirus crisis

More than half of Americans blame the federal government for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a higher number than those who said they primarily blamed foreign governments such as China for the disease’s spread.

A poll conducted for the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 56 percent of respondents say the U.S. government carries “substantial” responsibility for the state of American COVID-19 outbreak, while just 47 percent said the same about leaders of foreign countries and 39 percent blamed the World Health Organization (WHO).

That comes after months of the Trump administration blaming both China’s government and the WHO for the scale of the U.S. outbreak, which has surpassed 7 million cases and more than 209,000 deaths. Top administration officials have claimed for months that the U.S. response was hampered by China’s supposed unwillingness to share data with global health experts, as well as the WHO’s alleged deference to Chinese authorities.

Blame for foreign countries and the WHO is much more popular among GOP voters, 60 percent of whom said that substantial blame is due for leaders of foreign countries including China, while 55 percent said the same about the WHO. Just 37 percent of Democrats blamed foreign countries for the U.S.’s struggles against the virus, and even less — 27 percent — blamed the WHO.

Critics of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response have pointed to a rise in violence and bigotry suffered by Asian Americans as evidence that the president and other officials’ attempts to link the virus to China has resulted in a rise in racial discrimination.

The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,053 U.S. adults between Sept. 11-14, before President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE‘s own diagnosis of COVID-19 was announced last week. The poll’s margin of error is 4.1 percentage points. 

Source Article

Americans Fault US Govt Over Foreign Powers for Virus Crisis | Political News

By MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans blame the U.S. government instead of foreign nations for the coronavirus crisis in the United States, a rebuke to the Trump administration’s contention that China or other countries are most at fault, a new poll shows.

The poll by The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research was conducted before President Donald Trump tested positive for the virus Friday and was hospitalized. Trump has downplayed the severity and impact of the pandemic in recent months.

Although many see plenty of blame to go around and there’s a wide bipartisan divide over who is responsible, 56% of Americans say the U.S. government has substantial responsibility for the situation. That compares with 47% who place that much blame on the governments of other countries and only 39% who say the same about the World Health Organization.

“It reflects a general lack of confidence in the way the government has handled the situation,” said Austin Wright of the Harris School for Public Policy.

More than 1 million people worldwide, including more than 200,000 Americans, have died of COVID-19 in the outbreak. Trump has squarely blamed the virus’ spread on China, where it originated, and an inadequate response from the WHO.

As he faces a rough reelection contest in November, Trump has steadily ramped up criticism of China for the virus and announced the U.S. would halt funding for and withdraw from the international health agency over alleged Chinese interference in its work. Critics, including public health experts, have said China bears some responsibility but have also harshly criticized Trump’s response.

The poll shows Democrats are especially likely to say the U.S. government is responsible for the situation, while many Republicans are likely to place the blame elsewhere. Among Democrats, 79% say the U.S. government has a great deal of responsibility, while 37% say that about other countries’ governments and 27% about the WHO. Among Republicans, 38% say the U.S. government is responsible, compared with 60% for the governments of other countries and 55% the WHO.

Self-described conservative Republican Ralph Martinez, a 67-year-old grocery store manager from the Fort Worth, Texas area, said he wasn’t sure that any government could have handled it better and dismissed criticism that Trump had downplayed the matter.

“It’s an open question, honestly,” he said. “I don’t care who’s in office, I think they’re going to do their best for everyone. But how much can they do?”

Martinez, who said he had to throw a customer out of his store for not wearing a mask recently, lauded Trump for not wanting to create panic in the early stages of the outbreak in the U.S. He also recalled unprecedented runs on items such as toilet paper and paper towels when people realized the virus was not a momentary phenomenon.

“You would not believe how crazy these people got,” he said. “I can’t imagine how bad it would have been