Coronavirus: Bernie Sanders and AOC call on US to lift Iran sanctions as nation reels from Covid-19

By Andrew Buncombe
Apr. 1, 2020  

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have led calls for the US to ease harsh sanctions imposed on Iran, as the nation reels from coronavirus, which has killed at least 2,600 Iranians.

In a public letter signed by around three-dozen politicians, including congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Mr Sanders and Ms Ocasio-Cortez, called on the Trump administration to step in with humanitarian aid, rather than making a very bad situation worse.

The call comes less than a week after Washington imposed new sanctions on Tehran, targeting individuals and companies allegedly linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“Rather than continue to invoke new sanctions in the Iranian people’s hour of need, we urge you to substantially suspend sanctions on Iran during this global public health emergency in a humanitarian gesture to the Iranian people to better enable them to fight the virus,” said the letter.

“We encourage the US to find a way to deliver aid directly to the Iranian people to support the Iranian people’s fight against Coronavirus, as many other nations have done. There is precedent for both of these steps, as the George W Bush administration eased sanctions and delivered aid to Iran following a deadly earthquake near Bam in 2003.”