Iran is forced to maintain its economic activity despite a pandemic, says Rohani

Iran’s economy must continue to function, despite the rebound of the covid-19 epidemic in the country, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on Saturday.

Economic, social and cultural activities must be continued while respecting health protocols (…) It is the only way, “said Rohani, during a meeting of the committee to fight the virus, broadcast on television.

“The simplest solution is to declare any activity closed, and the next day, the people would protest against the chaos, hunger, difficulties and pressure,” said Rohani, whose government has been criticized for managing the crisis.

Iran officially records more than 12,000 deaths and 252,000 cases of covid-19. On Thursday, the country had the highest daily death toll, 221.

To fight the spread of the epidemic, authorities canceled public events and closed schools and nonessential businesses in March, and began to gradually lift these restrictions beginning in April, to try to revive the economy.

“Public television, (the media), artists, intellectuals, teachers, all have to act to convince our beloved people (…) that we have no other solution,” said Rohani.

“It is not possible to close long-term companies and long-term economic activities,” he reiterated. “The people will not accept it.”

The Iranian economy has been facing a brutal recession since 2018, after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States in May from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program and the reestablishment of economic sanctions against Tehran.

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