05:35 GMT09 April 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is ready to provide assistance to Iran, which is struggling with the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), US President Donald Trump announced after imposing additional travel restrictions on Iran.

    "If we can help the Iranians -- we have the greatest health care professionals in the world and if we can help the Iranians with this problem we are certainly willing to do so," Trump said at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, as quoted by CNN, adding that "all they have to do is ask."

    Earlier on Saturday, US Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump had authorized new travel restrictions on Iran amid coronavirus fears, including an entry ban for any foreigner who had visited Iran within the last 14 days.

    Also on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, offered Iran assistance in containing the coronavirus outbreak and expressed sympathy for the victims of the outbreak in Iran.

    Iran, along with Italy, has just recently become a new coronavirus hotbed outside of China. The number of people infected with COVID-19 in the Islamic Republic is approaching 600. Over 40 people have died from the coronavirus disease in Iran.

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