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Lavrov, Zarif discuss Iran nuclear deal, Syria

Moscow is ready to help Iran contain coronavirus spread, the top diplomat vowed

MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed the situation concerning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program and the Syrian settlement process over the phone on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

"[The two sides] had a meaningful conversation on pressing international issues, including the situation regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program and the Syrian settlement [process] from the perspective of the agreements reached by the Astana process guarantor nations," the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry added that the sides discussed prospects for trade and economic cooperation along with other bilateral issues.

Fight against coronavirus 

Russia's top diplomat reassured his Iranian counterpart that Moscow was ready to help contain the coronavirus spread. "The Russian side offered condolences over deaths caused by the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 in Iran and confirmed readiness to offer help in stemming its further spread," the Foreign Ministry reported.

In late December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, an economic and industrial megacity with a population of 11 million. The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. Beyond China, new hotspots of infection arose in Iran, Italy and South Korea. Overall, more than 80 other countries and territories, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.

Iran’s Health Ministry informed about the first coronavirus cases in the country on February 19. They were identified in the city of Qom. According to latest reports by Iran’s Health and Medical Education Ministry, 2,922 patients are infected with the novel coronavirus, while the virus’ death toll has hit 92.