Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised statement on Sunday that this year has been the toughest in the nation's history because of United States sanctions and the spread of coronavirus.
“From the enemy's economic war and the coronavirus pandemic, this year is the most difficult year in our country’s history," Rouhani said during his cabinet’s meeting.
“For 140 years we have not experienced such a disease”, Rouhani added.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran surpassed 220,000 with deaths crossing the 10,000 mark over the past week, according to data from the Iranian health ministry.
Rouhani added that face masks are set to become mandatory starting next week in areas at risk of increased coronavirus infections.
Despite a decrease in Iran's number of reported cases in April, infections started increasing once again in May and June.