Mar 27, 2020, 11:34 PM
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US should assist Iran, not add pressure while it's vulnerable: Former ambassador

Tehran, March 27, IRNA – US former ambassador to Iraq (2009-2010) Christopher Hill on Friday called on Washington to help Iran amid coronavirus outbreak and reduce pressures amid coronavirus outbreak.

While the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has called for an immediate ceasefire in conflicts around the world, the US can stop its relentless pressures against Iran, he wrote in an opinion in thehill.com on Friday.

In the past two weeks, as coronavirus cases have begun to spike, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took renewed aim at Iran, a country grieving the deaths of more than 2,000 of its citizens, and advocated escalating military action against Iran. Pompeo was urging a tougher response to Shia militia attacks against US forces in Iraq, he said.

"What is notable about Pompeo’s conviction that the US needs to increase pressure against Iran--a view shared by national security advisor Robert O’Brien--is that the US military leadership opposed taking action against Iran, pointing out that there was no clear evidence to support the proposition that the Iranians had a hand in the Shia attacks," Hill wrote.

"More notable, however, was the fact, revealed in a New York Times piece, that Pompeo suggested Iran’s leaders would be more susceptible to US pressure while battling the devastation wrought by the coronavirus. In effect, Pompeo would use a pandemic as an ally to pressure Iran," he said.

"There are many problems between the United States and Iran, but there should be a serious effort to include Iran in any US efforts to help mitigate the virus throughout the world," Hill said.

"If nobody else heeds the words of the UN secretary general, perhaps the US could offer a “ceasefire” to Iran, in the name of humanity, by relaxing sanctions and looking for ways to help that country," he said.   

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