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Maximum Pressure Sanctions Hinder Iran Healthcare, Say Prominent Figures, Insisting on Sanctions Relief

April 7, 2020 (EIRNS)—An initiative organized by The Iran Project and the European Leadership Network brought together 24 former diplomats and government officials from the U.S. and Europe in a call for sanctions relief for Iran, a nation which finds itself in perhaps the most devastating bout with the coronavirus. The statement reads:

“Though never intended to kill, U.S. ‘maximum pressure’ through sanctions on Iran are compromising the performance of the Iranian healthcare system as Iran’s outbreak moves into its second month. Despite humanitarian exemptions provided under U.S. and international law, these sanctions make the importation of medicine, medical equipment and raw materials needed to produce these goods domestically slower, more expensive, and complicated—when even possible—by deterring potential suppliers out of fear of overstepping sanctions’ limits.”

Pointing out that the sanctions placed on Iran are the most restrictive ever, the statement calls for

“a focused reduction in overall pressure” and that this “would have a significant impact on the ability of Iran’s healthcare system to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, potentially saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iranians and, by helping to curb the virus’ rapid spread across borders, the lives of its neighbors, Europeans, Americans and others.”

The statement warns that continued imposition of the totality of sanctions in this dire situation would also reflect badly on the reputation of the U.S. and Europe among the Iranian people. Therefore, it concludes “Targeted sanctions relief would be both morally right and serve the health and security interests of the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world.” The letter was signed by former and present government officials including, Madeleine Albright, Hans Blix, Federica Mogherini, Thomas Pickering, Paul O’Neill, and others. https://www.europeanleadershipnetwork.org/group-statement/elntip_iran_april2020/

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