Iran's president fires back at critics: 'This is not a time for political war'

Iran's president fires back at critics: 'This is not a time for political war'
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani fired back at those who are criticizing the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic Sunday, saying, “This is not a time for political war.” 

Rouhani spoke at a Cabinet meeting where he said that Iran has to consider the economic effects of a mass quarantine as the country faces sanctions from the U.S., The Associated Press reported

“Health is a principle for us, but the production and security of society is also a principle for us,” Rouhani said, according to the AP. “We must put these principles together to reach a final decision.”

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“This is not the time to gather followers,” he added. “This is not a time for political war.”

Critics have gone after Rouhani after the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 fell through following President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE’s withdrawal. The Trump administration then implemented sanctions on the country, stopping it from selling oil on international markets.

Iran has rejected the U.S.’s offers for humanitarian oil during the pandemic, despite being the most affected country in the Middle East. The country requested a $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and for the sanctions to be lifted.

Iran shut down nonessential businesses and travel between cities in recent days but took action later than other countries in the region, according to the AP.

The nation has recorded more than 38,300 cases of coronavirus and 2,640 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.