A group of 24 senior diplomats and defense officials, including four former Nato secretary generals, have urged Donald Trump to save “potentially hundreds of thousands of lives” across the Middle East by easing medical and humanitarian sanctions on Iran.
The call has the backing of the former EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, the former director general of the World Health Organization Gro Harlem Brundtland, and senior American diplomats in the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations.
Trump reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran in May 2018 after withdrawing from an international deal that put curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The bipartisan group is not pressing for a generalised lifting of the sanctions but instead a targeted effort to ease US rules that prevent Tehran trading in medical and humanitarian goods. The group says the move “could potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iranians and, by helping to curb the virus’s rapid spread across borders, the lives of its neighbours, Europeans, Americans and others.”
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