AGENCIES, Washington: Iran, one the Middle Eastern countries worst hit in the current coronavirus pandemic can now be assured that medical supplies and aid supplied by European companies will not come under the US imposed sanctions.
Iran’s health ministry on Thursday said that it had 117 new deaths from the novel coronavirus which lifts the total to 4,110.
The information that it would not be penalised for importing medical supplies came from US President Donald Trump himself.
“The US has no objection to Europe sending medical supplies to Iran, which has been badly hit by the deadly coronavirus,” President Donald Trump said. “They (Europeans) are sending medical goods to Iran. That doesn’t bother me,” Trump told reporters during a White House media briefing where he was responding to a question on the call made by French President Emanuel Macron to his Iranian counterpart that Europe has started to ship the medical goods to Iran.
“Medical goods?… That doesn’t bother me,” Trump said. Earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the US has offered humanitarian assistance to Iran. “I regret that they chose not to take that. I’ve heard people talking about sanctions,” he said.
“The world should note there are no sanctions that prevent humanitarian assistance, pharmaceutical medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals from going to Iran. We offered American assistance; we try to help other countries get assistance in there as well. We had some ability to do that,” Pompeo said.
On March 30, the UK, Germany and France circumvented Iran sanctions by using Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges for the first time to send medical goods to Iran in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iran has more than 66,220 people infected with the virus. Iran, which announced its first COVID-19 cases on February 19, is by far the worst hit by the pandemic in the Middle East, according to official tolls.