News ID: 267078
Published: 0814 GMT March 26, 2020

Washington Post, NY Times urge Trump to ease Iran sanctions

Washington Post, NY Times urge Trump to ease Iran sanctions

Political Desk Two mainstream American newspapers – The New York Times and The Washington Post – in separate editorials on Thursday called for “ease of sanctions” and a “humanitarian truce” as US President Donald Trump administration is stubbornly sticking to its unilateral sanctions targeting Iranians severely hit by fatal coronavirus disease.

The Washington Post wrote Iran, like the United States, is fighting a war against the novel coronavirus, which according to expert studies could kill millions in both countries if it is not contained.

Iran has blamed US sanctions for impeding the fight against the epidemic, which had been created by the United States.

“The United States is being blamed by ordinary Iranians as well as other nations for making it more difficult for authorities to combat the epidemic. That includes allies: Britain is among those that have asked for an easing of sanctions.”

Writing in the New York Times, Narges Bajoghli of Johns Hopkins University and Mahsa Rouhi of the International Institute for Strategic Studies reported that several companies that supply medical equipment used to combat the coronavirus had stopped shipping to Iran, according to The Post.

“Instead of escalating sanctions, Trump ought to be offering Iran the chance to ease tensions through mutual humanitarian actions. Iran has already paroled one of the US citizens it had been holding in its prisons. While seeking the release of the others, the administration should support Iran’s request to the International Monetary Fund for emergency aid.”

In the meantime, The NY Times wrote, “Demonstrating compassion in times of crisis is good foreign policy, and it may actually help achieve the goals the Trump administration is pursuing.”

“The Trump administration says it has offered to help the “Iranian people” and to facilitate the delivery of medical supplies to Iran. But the offer is said to carry many conditions, and importers say they still have a major problem finding banks willing to maneuver through the daunting compliance processes to finance the trade.”

In any case, wrote The Times, piling on more sanctions is morally wrong and looks terrible.

“On the most elemental level of humanitarian compassion, the United States should be at the forefront of offering what help it can. That may not mean sending medical supplies like respirators, which are in short supply everywhere, but at the least it should mean clearing the way for the IMF loan.”

The Trump administration should also loosen or lift sanctions for a limited time and offer technical assistance to Tehran, the American daily stressed.

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