How to make sense of Donald Trump’s callous disregard for human lives especially ordinary Iranians who are in the midst of Coronavirus pandemic. Or of the U.S. officials doubling down in their support for crippling economic sanctions, despite the sheer scale of the suffering?
Iran has become one of the worst affected countries by the coronavirus pandemic. Appearing before the cameras, sweating profusely and coughing, the man leading Iran’s response to the new coronavirus promised it was of no danger to his country. “Quarantines belong to the Stone Age,” Iraj Harirchi insisted. A day later, he was in quarantine from the virus. Harirchi’s story is a microcosm of what has happened in Iran in the pandemic.
According to many health experts, the days of denials gave the virus Iran the time to spread. The pandemic has took more than 900 lives and infected more than 15,000. While most infected people recover, the virus spreads rapidly and can kill the elderly and those with breathing problems or other underlying illnesses. In Middle East, 9 out of every 10 infected is from Iran.
Although Islamic Republic has Mideast’s best medical systems, its hospitals appear overwhelmed and authorities have asked for 172 million masks from abroad. Realizing the situation might spin out of control it also has asked the International Monetary Fund for $5 billion, the first such loan for Iran since 1962.
The Iranians Government is primarily responsible for a lot of Deaths and suffering as they have been incompetent and deeply dishonest. The country’s official response was denial which gave the virus time to spread. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “accused the country’s enemies of exaggerating the threat of the coronavirus.”
In spite of that, US sanctions on Iran had devastating effect making things worse. Iranian President Hasan Rouhani appealed world leaders how the fight against coronavirus in his country has been hampered by the US sanctions. Foreign Minister Mr. Mohammad Javed Zarif termed the restrictive policies of the United States as “medical terrorism”.
On the other hand, Trump administration refusing the allegation said sanctions do not affect humanitarian aid. Technically this is correct to some extent but Human Rights Watch pointed “while the US government has built exemptions for humanitarian imports into its sanctions regime … in practice these exemptions have failed to offset the strong reluctance of US and European companies and banks to risk incurring sanctions and legal action by exporting or financing exempted humanitarian goods.” Which has restricted ordinary Iranians from accessing essential medicines?
So, it is of no surprise that Iran is struggling to provides masks, surgical gown or ventilators. Iran inability to develop antiviral drugs despite having one the middle east best healthcare system, presents the grim reality Iran is facing due to sanctions.
US legislator Ilhan Omar, one of the few progressive voices in the American House of Representatives tweeted “We need to suspend these sanctions before more lives are lost.” Of course, The American Hawks crave for the attack on the Islamic Republic, but these are extraordinary situations, recent reports by Iran has projected that the virus can infect up to 4 million Iranians and might cause 3.5 million deaths. To avert this massive tragedy bought upon humankind. Even in the past when a massive earthquake hit an Iranian City and killed 26,000 people, President Bush temporarily lifted sanctions and allowed Humanitarian aid. Multiple US military planes with tons of medical aid food supplies landed in Iran for first time after the Revolution. should and lift sanction so millions of human lives.learning from his predecessors, Mr. Trump should immediately lift sanctions to save millions of innocent human lives.