With Iran being wracked by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and many high government officials having been infected –including a vice-president and an advisor to Khamenei — Iran’s Supreme Leader refused U.S. assistance stating that the virus was made by the American government.

Khamenei’s comments, made on Sunday, parroted the conspiracy claims of the Chinese government, that the United States may have manufactured the Coronavirus. 

“I do not know how real this accusation is but when it exists, who in their right mind would trust you to bring them medication?” Khamenei said. “Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.”

Iran has reported more than 21,600 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 1,685 reported deaths, according to government figures released Sunday. However, like China and even the extremely low figures of reported cases by Russia, many health experts believe that these oppressive governments may be underreporting the actual number of cases. (Satellite images purportedly even show Iranians digging mass graves outside of the religious site at Qom.)

Khamenei, however, took the Chinese conspiracy theory to the next level, stating that the virus “is specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians, which they have obtained through different means.” (The Chinese are also floating about the theory now that the virus began in Italy where the closely-inhabited cities have been hard-hit with the virus.)

“You might send people [like] doctors and therapists, maybe they would want to come here and see the effect of the poison they have produced in person,” Khamenei added.

Propaganda at its best: Chinese claim US Army started the Coronavirus

Read Next: Propaganda at its best: Chinese claim US Army started the Coronavirus

The Iranians claim that if the United States wants to help Iran, then it should lift the economic sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. Khamenei meanwhile continued his harangue against America calling its leaders “absolutely ruthless” while speaking to a national television audience: “No one trusts you. You are capable of bringing into our country a drug that will keep the virus alive and prevent its eradication.”

“The American leaders are liars, manipulators, impudent and greedy… They are charlatans,” he added. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in response to these allegations, urged Americans to dismiss the conspiracy theories floated by the Chinese, Russian, and Iranian leaders that this is an American manufactured virus, find dependable news outlets, and not buy the spin. 

“Finally, I want to talk about the misinformation that people are seeing on Twitter, around the world,” Pompeo said. “Some of it coming from governments, some of it coming from other individuals.” “Every American, indeed people all around the world, should ensure that where they turn to for information is a reliable source and not a bad actor trying to create a flow of information that they know is wrong.”

“We’ve made clear we’ve spoken to these countries directly that they need to knock it off, that we don’t approve of it,” Pompeo added.