U.S. won’t release cash assets to Iran amid coronavirus outbreak: Washington Free Beacon 

March 28, 2020 - 12:39

The U.S. State Department has shot down "inaccurate" reports claiming the Trump administration would soon be granting special sanctions exceptions to give Iran access to cash assets as it struggles to fight the coronavirus, according to information exclusively provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

The United States had "agreed to grant sanctions waivers to some countries allowing them to release frozen Iranian assets in order to help Tehran buy medicine and equipment to fight the coronavirus," according to a report late Friday in Middle Eastern Eye that cited "sources."

Scores of Iranian assets are currently frozen in many European bank accounts due to the Trump administration's tough sanctions regime on Iran.

The State Department slapped down these reports as false when asked by the Free Beacon to address the matter.

"These reports are inaccurate," a State Department official told the Free Beacon.

Russia, Iran, Venezuela, China, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua and Syria – countries that support the UN Charter, have jointly written a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calling for removal of sanctions in the midst of fight against the deadly coronavirus, the official news agency IRNA reported on Saturday, quoting a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“In this letter we have called for an immediate and complete lifting of unilateral sanctions which are impeding countries’ efforts in containing the coronavirus pandemic,” IRNA said, quoting the statement.

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday called for an easing of sanctions against countries such as Iran to allow their medical systems to fight the disease and limit its global spread. 

Michelle Bachelet said humanitarian exemptions to sanctions measures should be authorized for essential medical equipment and supplies to avoid the collapse of any national healthcare system. 

PA/PA

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