On March 22, 2020, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a 40-minute-long speech, which aired on Channel 1 (Iran) and posted on Khamenei's website. The Iranian leader said that America is Iran's most evil enemy and that top American officials are charlatans, greedy, insolent liars, and merciless terrorists. He said that America's offers to help Iran with treatment and medicine are strange because America itself has equipment shortages, and he elaborated that no Iranian would accept these offers anyway because America has been accused of manufacturing and spreading COVID-19. Khamenei said that he does not know if these accusations are true, but that if they are, American medicine might be a means to further spread the disease in Iran and the American doctors who would come to Iran might do so in order to gather more information about the behavior of the virus in order to increase America's hostility towards Iran. In addition, he referred to a theory that strains of COVID-19 were produced specifically to target Iran using information gathered about Iranian genetics. For information related to this theory, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7881 Experts On Iranian TV: COVID-19 May Be An American "Ethnic Weapon" Targeting The Genome Of Iranians, Chinese, March 19, 2020.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "There are enemies who are demons and there are enemies who are humans, and they help one another. The intelligence services of many countries cooperate with one another against us.
"Today, our most evil enemy – the enemy of the Islamic Republic – is America. America... Obviously our enemies are not few, but the most evil and most hostile of all is America. The American top officials are liars and deceivers. They are insolent and greedy. They have a variety of immoral characteristics. They are charlatans. If you hear about the measures they take – they talk like charlatans. This is what they are. In addition, they are oppressors, they have hearts of stone, they are extremely merciless, and they are terrorists.
"Among the coronavirus-related topics that I should mention here... American top officials have said several times that they are ready to help us with treatment and medicine. They have repeated this several times. [They said:] 'Just ask, and we will help you with treatment and medicine.' This is one of those very strange things – asking them for treatment and medicine...
"First of all, you yourselves are suffering shortages. According to the news we get from America – what the Americans themselves say, the mayor of a certain city, the head of some health department, the head of a hospital in another state... They themselves say that they are suffering from a terrible shortage, both in equipment to prevent the outbreak of the disease and in medicine and things like that. If you have anything, you should use it yourselves.
"Secondly, you Americans are being accused of creating this virus. I do not know whether this accusation is true, but when such an accusation is being made, what reasonable person would trust you to bring him medicine? Your medicine might be a means to further spread the disease. You cannot be trusted. You may prescribe a certain medicine, or introduce something to our country that would make this virus permanent and that would prevent it from going away. If the accusation is true, and you really are the ones who created this virus, it means that you are capable of doing such things. If you send some doctor or healer, he might want to come here to check on the effects of the poison you created. After all, it is said that some of it was produced specifically for Iran, using knowledge about Iranian genetics that was acquired in various ways. So if they produced some of it for Iran, [doctors] might want to come to examine the effect and thus complete their knowledge, and then they will increase their hostility.
"Hence, this is something no one from among the Iranian people would agree to."