Iran hits out at US as virus death toll passes 3,000 Apr 02, 2020 0 1602 12345 AFPTehranIran’s death toll from the coronavirus has passed 3,000, the health ministry said on Wednesday, as President Hassan Rouhani accused Washington of missing a “historic opportunity” to lift sanctions.Tensions between the arch-foes have soared since President Donald Trump abandoned a landmark nuclear agreement in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions.Tehran has repeatedly called on Washington to reverse its policy, which has been opposed by US allies, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the coronavirus death toll in Iran now stood at 3,036 following 138 new fatalities in the past 24 hours.He added that 2,987 new cases had been confirmed, bringing the total to 47,593, with 15,473 of those hospitalised having recovered and been discharged.“This was the best, historic opportunity for the Americans to reverse their wrong path and for once, tell their nation they are not against the Iranian people,” Rouhani said in televised comments at a cabinet meeting.They “did not learn their lesson even during this difficult global situation,” he said.“This was a humanitarian issue. No one would have blamed them for retreating.”Medicines and medical equipment are technically exempt from the US sanctions but purchases are frequently blocked by the unwillingness of banks to process purchases for fear of incurring large penalties in the United States.Countries including Azerbaijan, Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have all sent shipments of medical aid to Iran.European nations have also delivered medical goods to Iran in the first transaction under the Instex financing mechanism set up to get round US sanctions, Germany said on Tuesday.It is more than a year since Britain, France and Germany announced the creation of Instex, a delay that has prompted Iran to question European governments’ commitment to seeing it through in defiance of the Trump administration. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Africans rush for chloroquine as virus tsunami looms Apr 02, 2020 0 511 Iran warns US after Patriot deployment to Iraq Apr 02, 2020 0 130 Iran floods leave 21 dead Apr 02, 2020 0 242 COVID-19 to plunge 8.3 million more into poverty in Arab region: UN DPA Beirut An additional 8.3 million people will fall into poverty in the Arab region due to the Covid-19 outbreak, a UN agency warned on Wednesday. Many Arab countries have recently adopted tighter restrictions in an .. Syria war records lowest monthly death toll in 9 years AFP Beirut The war in Syria killed 103 civilians in March, marking the lowest monthly non-combatant death toll since the start of the conflict in 2011, a war monitor said on Wednesday. Of the total deaths, some 51 people .. Afghan govt holds talks with Taliban in Kabul on prisoner swap AFP Kabul Afghan government representatives have met with the Taliban in Kabul for the first time to discuss a prisoner swap aimed at jump-starting a floundering peace process, officials said on Wednesday. The two sides .. 21 civilians killed by US airstrikes in Somalia, Amnesty says Nairobi US airstrikes in Somalia have killed 21 civilians and injured 11 since 2017, Amnesty International said on Wednesday, accusing the United States military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) of facing “zero .. Kenya president sorry for coronavirus cop violence Nairobi Kenya’s president on Wednesday apologised for violence meted out by police following the declaration of a nationwide curfew last week to curb the spread of coronavirus. “I want to apologise to all Kenyans for... ..