Lift sanctions on Iran to stem Covid-19

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THE Covid-19 (Corona Virus) situation is so serious in Iran
that one person is reportedly dying every ten minutes. The
climbing death tally should alone be a sufficient reason for the so-called civilised world and human rights champions to lift sanctions against Iran, if not permanently then at least for the time being to help the country better guard itself against the virus, which recognises no border or ideologies.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has also written letters to world leaders including American people urging them to call on the US Administration to end the dark chapter of sanctions enabling them to better tackle the Corona Virus. Pakistan, China, Russia and the US Secretary General have also made similar calls. But unfortunately up to now these are falling on deaf ears as the US is sticking to its maximum pressure campaign, rather it imposed fresh sanctions the other day. While the US point is that there are no sanctions on medicines going to Iran or on humanitarian assistance but many banks and companies have refrained from taking part in any such ventures out of fear of getting caught up in US’s secondary sanctions. In practice, these sanctions have badly affected not only Iran’s economy but also its entire health sector.
The country, as a result, is faced with shortage of supplies of life saving drugs and other equipment. The question is whether the US and world at large will continue to see deaths of Iranians out of their geopolitical and ideological differences. Is this humanity or sheer barbarism? In our view, lifting of sanctions will not just serve the US interests to contain further spread of the virus but would also be a powerful humanitarian gesture to more than eighty million Iranians suffering from this pandemic.