US Senators urge Trump to ease Iran Sanctions
On March 26, a group of US senators urged the Trump administration to ease sanctions on Iran to help them cope with the coronavirus outbreak.
Iran Press/America: “As the coronavirus outbreak causes health crises, US sanctions are hindering the free flow of needed medical and humanitarian supplies due to the broad chilling effect of sanctions on such transactions, even when there are technical exemptions,” 11 lawmakers in the US Senate led by Chris Murphy said in a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“We understand that the administration has stated that humanitarian and medical needs are exempt from US sanctions, but our sanctions regime is so broad that medical suppliers and relief organizations simply steer clear of doing business in Iran and in fear of accidentally getting caught up in the US sanctions web.”
Earlier in March, four countries, Britain, China, Pakistan, and Russia either publicly or privately pressed the Trump administration to ease sanctions on Iran. On March 24, the United Nations called on the world to lift sanctions on countries, such as Iran, dealing with coronavirus.
The letter by the US Senators stated that in order to improve clarity and ensure that US sanctions do not exacerbate the health issue in Iran, we as signatories of the letter call on the administration to provide:
• A clear general license authorizing specific medical goods and equipment to facilitate international relief efforts. This license would aid in the donation or sale of items including testing kits, respiratory devices, personal protective equipment and medicine.
• Proactive efforts to establish new financial channels for sanctioned countries to pay for humanitarian goods.
• A 90-day waiver of sectoral sanctions that impede a rapid humanitarian response.
• Unconditional delivery of aid through a third-party country or entity.
• In Iran, an easing of sanctions barring technology companies from delivering services to the Iranian people, which inhibits the spread of public information on how to combat the virus.
Worldwide, more than 25,000 people have died from coronavirus, an infection which has affected more than half a million people.