Iranian expert on COVID-19: We are in the same boat
Bobby Naderi

Editor's note: Bobby Naderi is a journalist and current affairs commentator based in Iran. In this video, he shares his personal experience and observations during the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran, and calls on the  U.S. to lift sanctions to soften the suffering of Iranians. The article reflects the expert's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

I just lost three of my close relatives to the coronavirus.

We have been quarantined for the past one month or so, just like millions of other Iranian families. And we are hoping that this small dip that we are doing right now is going to help the government fight the spread of the coronavirus.

I hope that the government will do as much as it can in order to make sure that this virus will go away as soon as possible. But for that to happen, the government also needs the help and the assistance of the international civil society – China, Russia, the regional countries, the European Union, even the United States – because they have a lot of expertise in medicine and they have the supplies, and they have the means to lift the sanctions, the banking restrictions on Iran, at least for some time.

It (the virus) doesn't understand any borders or nationality and ethnicity. So America needs to realize that Iran is more than ready to do, and to walk the talk, and talk to the United States.

For the people of America, they need to realize that the message is clear. We are not your enemy, and we have never been your enemy. We are friends. We are in this together, just like Japan, China, just like the European Union.

We are all human beings and we are now being affected in many ways because of this virus, and many other things that are happening because of our foreign policy, because of the decisions made by certain individuals that have politicized everything, even international relations. Enough is enough!

Our economy is suffering already. Our government is suffering, our people, ordinary Iranians are suffering, and our partners are suffering. They cannot even send humanitarian assistance to us. They are also paying a heavy price.

If we want to stop the coronavirus globally, we have no choice but to cooperate with each other and help each other through humanitarian assistance, through lifting sanctions and restrictions and making sure that everybody will keep in mind that we are still on the same boat.

When we keep that virus out, we can start fighting each other. But until that happens, let's act like adults, like adults in a room, and sort out our differences, resolve our political issues and differences through dialogue because that's the best way forward.

The time is now dying out. This is the only planet that we have. We need to keep it healthy and safe. And for that to happen, we need to let go of our hostilities, our animosity, our differences, and make sure that we can work together.

This is the opportunity I see right now and I hope that America will come to its senses.

Editing and design: Wang Xinyan

Video editor: Liu Shasha

Graphic design: Qu Bo

Producer: Wei Wei  

Supervisor: Mei Yan

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