Sanders: Lift sanctions on Iran to reduce human suffering

Democratic presidential hopeful again calls on administration to lift the sanctions on Iran as it fights the coronavirus.

Elad Benari ,

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders

US Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Tuesday once again called for the US to lift the sanctions it imposed on Iran as it battles the coronavirus pandemic.

“Coronavirus has killed 2,600 in Iran, but U.S. sanctions are obstructing medicine and aid from getting in,” tweeted Sanders.

In a direct appeal to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, he added, “Pandemics know no borders. Let us put aside our countries' disputes and lift sanctions to reduce human suffering.”

The tweet marks the second time in recent weeks that Sanders has called for the US sanctions on Iran to be lifted as the Islamic Republic struggles to contain coronavirus.

In mid-March, Sanders tweeted, “As a caring nation, we must lift any sanctions hurting Iran’s ability to address this crisis, including financial sanctions.”

Since leaving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the US has continuously reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Iranian leaders have said that the US sanctions “severely hamper” the Islamic Republic’s ability to fight coronavirus.

Despite the sanctions which block Iran from selling its crude oil and accessing international financial markets, Washington has offered Iran help in fighting the coronavirus.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week made clear that Iran had no intention of accepting the United States’ offer of humanitarian assistance and added that United States should lift sanctions if it wants to help Iran to contain the virus.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US sanctions have doubled Iranians' suffering from the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Zarif called for a global "moral will" against the US excessive demands, noting that "complying with sanctions should not lead to more war crimes."