1202 GMT April 04, 2020
A former French ambassador to Washington refuted claims by the White House officials about the sanctions not hampering delivery of humanitarian aid to Iran, saying European banks and transportation companies don’t want to take the risk of trade with Tehran as they fear the US.
In a post on his Twitter account on Monday, Gérard Araud added in 2018, European states made a specific demarche to the US Department of the Treasury to organize a specific channel for medical deliveries to Iran.
He noted that they told the Treasury Department that European banks and transportation companies were over-complying with the sanctions on Iran as they did not want to take any risk with US sanctions.
However, Araud added, “We were rebuked.”
“The E3 + EU ambassadors made a specific demarche in 2018 to the US treasury to organize a specific channel for medical deliveries to Iran. We invoked the over compliance of banks and transportation companies which didn’t want to take any risk with US sanctions. We were rebuked,” his Twitter post reads.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions have hindered, among many other things, the delivery of international humanitarian aid, drugs and medical equipment to Iran, particularly, now that the country is in a fight against the coronavirus.
The coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year and is currently affecting a large number of countries and territories across the globe.
Iran is among the countries worst hit by the virus with the total number of infections in the country standing at 23,049, and the death toll exceeding 1,800, according to IRNA.
Earlier, Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iranian affairs, told reporters that Washington would continue its so-called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran despite the coronavirus outbreak, claiming, "US sanctions are not preventing aid from getting to Iran," Reuters reported.