The Impact of Economic Sanctions Against Iran Amid COVID-19
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on Iran and on March 20 the Presbyterian Church (USA) joined 25 faith-based organizations and NGO's to urge Trump to ease Iran sanctions to combat the coronavirus. As of March 24, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iran surpassed 24,000, and the death toll exceeded 1,900. Long preceding the current crisis, sanctions have caused a shortage of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment in Iran. Now, as the country faces the worst of the virus, the intense shortage of medical equipment severely hinders the country’s ability to combat this crisis. Medical professionals are left without protective gear, leading to the continued spread of COVID-19, and the strain placed on the economy by the sanctions has led Iran’s healthcare system to be stretched beyond capacity. Some steps have already been taken, including allowing humanitarian trade with the Central Bank of Iran. However, the U.S. sanctions are so sweeping that they impact Iran’s entire economy, have made banks unwilling to carry out humanitarian transactions, and make it difficult for other countries to carry out transactions without triggering secondary sanctions.
Write to Key Administration Members to Urge the Suspension of Sanctions Against Iran
This call to suspend sanctions on Iran is urgent if the country is to have any hope combating the pandemic. Continued sanctioning of Iran is inhumane and hampers Iran’s epidemic response and delivery of humanitarian aid by the UN and other organizations. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo must be urged to suspend sanctions against Iran for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to complete a sample email calling on these leaders to suspend sanctions.