Ayatollah Khamenei hails Iran’s ‘shining’ battle against coronavirus
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Thursday that the outbreak of the coronavirus laid bare the true color of the Western civilization and that of the US that confiscated shipments of masks belonging to other countries.
“Confiscating other nations' masks and gloves, emptying shops, fighting over toilet paper and long lines for buying guns during the Corona virus outbreak are the logical and natural outcome of the philosophy that governs western civilization,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a televised speech, marking the birth anniversary of Imam Mahdi (May God hasten his reappearabce), the twelfth and last Imam of Shia Muslims.
Last week, US allies in Europe to South America, complained about the Washington’s “Wild West” tactics in outbidding or blocking shipments to buyers who have already signed deals for vital medical supplies.
Germany reported that 200,000 face masks bound for Berlin from a 3M factory in China were never delivered because the US government seized them.
Berlin’s Secretary of Interior Andreas Geisel called the move an “act of modern piracy.”
"This is not how you deal with transatlantic partners. Even in times of global crisis, Wild West methods shouldn't rule."
Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to some instances of the panic triggered by the outbreak in Western societies, which saw people flood the stores in their countries to stock up on essentials.
He also deplored the discrimination against old patients battling the disease.
“In some western countries they have said that the corona patients who are elderly, disabled and have major problems are not a priority to receive medical care. All of this is a result and product of the dominance of Western culture, which is based on materialism and atheism,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Footage broadcast on TV showed people engaging in fights over toilet paper or rushing to buy guns and ammunition as they feel a need to protect themselves and their families against potential threats, he added.
Referring to the comments by a US official, Ayatollah Khamenei said the West, unlike its “perfumed, smart appearance”, has a “savage spirit”.
Last month, the Illinois governor said US states were competing for supplies during the pandemic, adding that: “It’s a Wild West out there”.
Iran’s ‘shining’ performance
Ayatollah Khamenei also praised the Iranian nation’s “shining” performance in the fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which he described as a "test” facing the entire world.
He highlighted the sacrifices that the country’s medics have been making to help treat those infected with COVID-19 and rein in the outbreak, which he called a “modern plague” afflicting the world.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the greatest honor in this battle goes to the entire staff members of Iran’s healthcare system, who have “placed their own lives and health at the service of people.”
The medical society’s braveries, he added, “will live on as a happy memory in the mind of this nation.”
Ayatollah Khamenei alsi praised the efforts being made by the health workers who entered the scene voluntarily to back up the fight against the virus, including Basij Forces, students and people from other walks of life.
The Leader referred to the Armed Forces’ major contribution to the national campaign against the disease, saying they “spared no effort in the fields of science, construction and production of health and medical facilities.”
“New capacities were discovered, of which we had been unaware. It emerged that there exist great potentials both inside and outside the ranks of the Armed Forces,” he added.
The Leader described the pandemic as a test for the world, including both governments and nations, adding, “The Iranian nation shone brightly in this coronavirus test.”
He hailed the Iranian people for firmly adhering to the guidelines issued by the country’s health authorities to stop the virus spread, saying they even skipped popular Nature’s Day celebrations and chose to stay home.
The Leader said that the Iranian nation’s performance in dealing with the coronavirus is rooted in the country’s Islamic culture, adding that “during the past two decades, certain [parties] made attempts to undermine the Iranian-Islamic culture, but this sense of Islamic culture and the chain of Islamic values is very strong among the people."
Avoid gathering in Ramadan
He appealed for Iranians to pray at home during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and urged them to avoid mass gatherings, such as collective prayers, during fasting month, which starts in the last week of April this year.
"In the absence of public gatherings during Ramadan, such as prayers, speeches ... which we are deprived of this year, we should not neglect worship, invocation and humility in our loneliness," he said in a televised speech.
"We need to create humility and supplication in our families and in our rooms."
Ayatollah Khamenei said COVID-19 is a “great problem” and a “big challenge for humanity,” although it is not that sizable “compared to many other problems. In the past, we had a lot of problems in our world and in our country, which were no less than this incident.”
As an example, the Leader pointed to the use of chemical weapons some 32 years ago by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein which killed thousands of Iranians and his own people, adding that “all major world powers, of course, threw their support behind Saddam” in the crime.
‘Pandemic must not be distraction’
The Leader further drew attention to the plight of the nations that have long been suffering under oppression and pressure in different parts of the world, including Yemen and Palestine, stressing that the pandemic should not divert attention from such major issues.
Ayatollah Khamenei also warned against the plots that the enemies have constantly been hatching against Iran, urging everyone to stay focused on the threat in parallel with efforts to tackle the pandemic.
Arrogant powers, he warned, are “hostile to the principle of the Islamic Republic system.”
Press TV, Tasnim, Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.