International Regulatory Enforcement (PHIRE)

Humanitarian Aid to Iran Under Existing Sanctions–An Important Reminder in a Time of Pandemic

April 22, 2020

Scott M. Flicker, Lauren Kelly D. Greenbacker, Talya R. Hutchison & Holly S. Flynn

As of April 16, 2020, Iran’s government had confirmed over 77,000 cases of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and over 4,800 deaths, with a report by the Iranian parliament estimating there may be up to 8 to 10 times more cases that are unconfirmed. Iranian officials have attacked U.S. sanctions for hindering Iran’s ability to import sufficient medical equipment such as ventilators and personal protective equipment. In light of the pandemic, there have been increasingly frequent calls to ease the impact of sanctions on Iran by members of international organizations and domestic politicians, including most recently from Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

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