AGENCIES, Washington: With close to 3,000 deaths and 44,605 people infected in Iran with coronavirus, the Middle East country currently reeling under sanctions from the US may see some humanitarian considerations soon.
The US itself is no stranger to the havoc that COVID-19 has caused on its soil. The US has reported 185,673 cases of the deadly virus with 3,788 deaths caused by it.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hinted at possibilities of the US considering easing down its sanctions on Iran amid the coronavirus pandemic. US had imposed sanctions on Iran after President Trump abandoned Tehran’s 2015 multilateral deal in a bid to limit the Islamic nation’s nuclear program.
Pompeo told media that “humanitarian and medical supplies” are exempt from sanctions. However, he acknowledged that broader sanctions may deter many companies to involve in any kind of humanitarian trade with Iran.
On being further asked if the country could change its stance on easing sanctions, Pompeo said that they’re evaluated all their policies constantly and they could always re-evaluate their decision on Iran sanctions.
Despite the health risk associated with the pandemic Iranian authorities have resisted a nationwide lockdown. Iran’s vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri in a televised public address said that ‘if necessary, we might impose tougher measures as our priority is the nation’s safety and health”.
Earlier this week, Iranian authorities even reportedly said that they have started mass production of ‘highly accurate’ coronavirus testing kits that could produce results within three hours. On a positive note, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he had been told by top health experts and doctors that “in some provinces, we have passed the peak of the epidemic and are on a downward trajectory”.