Democrats urge US administration to ease sanctions on Iran, Venezuela amid pandemic

Washington, (ST) - Top Democrats in Congress are urging the US President Donald Trump’s administration to ease sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, and other countries badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, citing the need to provide medical supplies and humanitarian support.

The American Foreign Policy magazine stated that a group of Senators and House of Representatives Democrats, including Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandrea Okasio Cortez, sent a batch of letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other high-level administration officials urging the latter to allow clearly defined exemptions from the sanctions.

The magazine added that in their letter, Sanders and Ocasso Cortez called for a temporary suspension of sanctions, including the banking and oil sectors in Iran, which are mainly targeted by the Trump administration.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy also spearheaded a call by several Democrats to the Trump administration to ease US sanctions against countries, including Iran and Venezuela, hit hard by coronavirus, saying the restricting measures are hampering the free flow of medicines and other humanitarian supplies to the people of these states as the pandemic worsens.

“Helping these nations save lives during this crisis is the right thing to do from a moral perspective, but it is also the right thing to do from a national security perspective,” Murphy wrote in the letter sent Thursday to Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The letter was co-signed by several Senate Democrats, including Chris Van Hollen, Tim Kaine and Patrick Leahy.

In a related move on Wednesday, eight countries also called on the United Nations (UN) chief to ask for the lifting of US unilateral sanctions on various countries that are hindering the global fight against the new coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education in Iran announced yesterday that the number of Corona virus infections in the country reached 35,408 people, the dead are 2517 people and the recovered are 11,679 people.


Raghda Sawas