Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office urges removal of sanctions on Iran

May 6, 2020 - 17:29

TEHRAN - Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office has sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, urging him to remove sanctions on Iran.

Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade said in his letter that the sanctions have made it difficult for Iran to access medical equipment and called for an immediate end to sanctions when the country is fighting the coronavirus, the Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday.

He also attached great importance to a humanitarian cause in the coronavirus pandemic.

Renowned American scholar Noam Chomsky has said it is “sheer sadism” that the United States maintains sanctions on Iran during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The sanctions are illegitimate in the first place, and maintaining them during the pandemic is sheer sadism,” Chomsky told IRNA in an interview published on Saturday.

Speaking from his office in self-isolation to Croatian philosopher and author Srecko Horvat in April, Chomsky blasted U.S. President Donald Trump for continuing sanctions on Iran.

“When the U.S. imposes devastating sanctions – it’s the only country that can do that, everyone has to follow ... the master. Or else they are kicked out the financial system,” said Chomsky, according to Aljazeera.

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said on April 2 that Trump’s administration must ease economic sanctions on Iran as a humanitarian gesture during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The former vice president said the U.S. has a moral obligation to be among the first to offer aid to people in need regardless of where they live when confronting a virus that knows no borders or political affiliations, according to Aljazeera.

Chris Murphy, the U.S. senator from Connecticut, warned on April 13 that the Trump administration could be partially responsible for “the death of innocent people” if it continues its current policies towards Iran amidst the coronavirus epidemic.

“If this epidemic continues to grow and spread in Iran it will…result in the death of innocent people, partially as a result of U.S. policy that does not accrue to the national security benefit of our country,” he told reporters on the Monday conference call, The National Interest reported.

“Remember, if we don’t beat it there, we don’t beat it here. This virus doesn’t respect borders,” he added. “It’s just good public health policy to help even our adversaries beat back this scourge.”

The novel coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, hit Iran at a time when U.S.-Iranian tensions were at an all-time high. The Trump administration initially relaxed its “super-maximum economic pressure” campaign in order to allow for humanitarian trade but has refused to budge any further, claiming that the current exemptions are enough. Murphy disagreed.

He had penned a March 26 letter, signed by ten other Democratic senators, asking the Trump administration to ensure that Iran and Venezuela can import medical supplies and other humanitarian goods to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Murphy wrote on his Twitter page on April 6 that Iranians are dying of coronavirus partly because of U.S. sanctions. 

“Innocent civilians are dying there in part because our sanctions are limiting humanitarian aid during coronavirus,” he tweeted.

NA/PA
 

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