US presidential candidate concerned about effects of sanctions on Iran’s fighting coronavirus

Tehran, Feb 29, IRNA – A US Democrat Senator and candidate for 2020 Presidential election wrote in a letter to the State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin to express concern about the effects of Donald Trump’s administration’s sanctions on Iran in its fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

Regarding the US measures taken to facilitate humanitarian trade with Iran, Senator Warren wrote on Friday, "Though these steps would appear on the surface to be sufficient, I am concerned that the limited nature of the exceptions and the fact that trade in general with Iran has been circumscribed by U.S. sanctions may make it difficult for urgently needed medical goods to get to Iran to combat the coronavirus.”

The Treasury Department issued a license on Thursday to allow humanitarian aid to go to Iran through a Swiss channel.

In her letter, she ought an assurance that every reasonable effort is being made by the United States to ensure the availability of medicine and other non-sanctionable humanitarian items to the Iranian people to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

Senator Warren said regardless of the disagreements between Washington and Tehran, the US should try to facilitate reception of humanitarian items, medicine, and medical equipment.

Senator Warren has requested responses to her inquiries by March 30, 2020.

Iran’s Spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Mousavi has already said that Iran recognized neither the sanctions nor the humanitarian channels, adding that US sanctioning medicine and food is oppressive.

On Monday, Newsweek wrote, “Iran is racing to curb the rapid, deadly spread of the new coronavirus, but these efforts are complicated by tight economic restrictions imposed by the United States and frustrations among an increasingly embattled population.”

The potentially fatal virus has infected 388 people in Iran, out whom 34 have passed away.

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