U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held out the chance on Tuesday that the US might take into account easing sanctions on Iran and different nations to assist battle the coronavirus epidemic however gave no concrete signal it plans to take action.
The feedback mirrored a shift in tone by the U.S. State Division, which has come below withering criticism for its laborious line towards sanctions relief even within the face of a name by the UN secretary-general to ease U.S. financial penalties.
Talking to reporters, Pompeo confused that humanitarian and medical provides are exempt from sanctions Washington reimposed on Tehran after President Donald Trump deserted Iran’s 2015 multilateral deal to restrict its nuclear program.
Nonetheless, broader U.S. sanctions deter many corporations from humanitarian commerce with Iran, one of the nations hardest hit by the coronavirus epidemic.
Requested if there may come a degree at which the US may reevaluate its stance on easing sanctions, Pompeo instructed a information convention: “we consider all of our insurance policies continuously, so the reply is – would we ever rethink? – In fact.”
Requested about such reduction on March 20, Pompeo merely stated U.S. sanctions don’t apply to medical and different humanitarian items.
The Trump administration is pursuing a “most strain” coverage to attempt to power the Islamic Republic to curb its nuclear, missile and regional actions.
Iran’s international minister has accused the US on Twitter of participating in “medical terror,” prompting Pompeo’s spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, on Monday to repeat his tweet and say: “Cease mendacity. … It is not the sanctions. It is the regime.”
A UN human rights skilled known as on Tuesday for lifting worldwide sanctions in opposition to international locations starting from Iran to North Korea and Venezuela to make sure that meals provides attain hungry populations through the coronavirus pandemic.
Pompeo has been sharply criticized for the administration’s stance on Iran sanctions. Within the final month, the US has repeatedly tightened sanctions on Iran, notably looking for to make it tougher for it to promote oil overseas.
On Sunday, Washington Put up columnist Jackson Diehl revealed a bit below the headline: “Pompeo’s pandemic efficiency ensures his place among the many worst secretaries of state ever.”
“Even shut U.S. allies, resembling Britain, are calling on the Trump administration to ease sanctions which are inhibiting cargo of medical provides and humanitarian assist to Iran’s 80 million individuals,” he wrote. “But Pompeo seems to view the epidemic as a useful means to compound ‘most strain.’ To what finish?”