Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted:
These sanctions aren’t changing the behavior of the Iranian government, but directly punishing innocent civilians.
These sanctions aren’t changing the behavior of the Iranian government, but directly punishing innocent civilians. https://t.co/odymQAN3cn
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 31, 2020
Omar shared a HuffPost article describing the congressional letter.
The Trump administration should suspend sweeping U.S. sanctions on Iran that are hindering the country’s response to its massive coronavirus outbreak, more than 30 lawmakers said in a letter to top officials on Tuesday.
The sanctions could be costing lives in Iran, which is enduring one of the largest flare-ups of the pandemic in the world. Thus far, more than 2,750 Iranians have succumbed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 40,000 have been infected, according to tracking by Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University. At least 50 Iranian medics have died.
Amind the crisis, U.S. sanctions are reducing Tehran’s access to protective gear for health care workers and equipment like respirators, United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned last week.
The congressional letter, shared with HuffPost ahead of its public release, is addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Notable signatories include Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
“Allowing this crisis to become more dire in Iran threatens significant harm not only to the people of Iran but also to people in the United States and around the world,” the letter says.