Israel: Sanctions on Iran Must Not Be Lifted for Coronavirus

(Jerusalem Post) Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon - Some have called for the U.S. to lift sanctions on Iran to help the regime fight the coronavirus. However, the belief that lifting sanctions would do anything but empower the regime at the expense of the Iranian people is foolish and dangerous. Like other authoritarian responses to the coronavirus outbreak, Iran withheld information and imprisoned whistleblowers. The government allowed daily commercial flights to and from China, and propagated the lie that the U.S. engineered the virus. Last year, European nations sent Iran an aid package of a billion euros to purchase medical supplies to help the people. Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that the regime stole most of that money, using it to acquire protective equipment for regime leaders against the virus and line their pockets. The desire to help those suffering, particularly under an authoritative regime, is admirable. However, in Iran's case, instead of sanctions relief, the focus should be on providing humanitarian aid in the form of medical equipment to help the Iranian people. Israel wants to see Iranian hospitals and doctors empowered with the necessary resources to help everyone inflicted with the virus. And Israel does not want the Iranian people paying for the sins of the authoritarian regime. However, the help cannot come at the cost of lifting sanctions intended to end Iran's nuclear program and terrorism campaigns. Moreover, in less than seven months, the UN arms embargo, the first of the nuclear agreement's sunset provisions, will expire. Beginning on October 18, the Iranian regime will be able to openly import advanced weapons, which it will use to arm its regional proxies and advance its missile program.

2020-04-02 00:00:00

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