İrem GÖL -TDO- A group of senior 24 diplomats and defence officials, including 4 former NATO secretary generals, have urged Donald Trump to save potentially hundreds of thousands of lives across the Middle East by easing medical 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.
The 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’ rapid spread across the borders, the lives of its neighbours, Europeans, Americans and others.”
The US state department claims medical trade is not blocked by US sanctions, but the group of former leaders say they have identified a series of barriers that make medical trade near impossible. The steps they recommend include expanding the scope of humanitarian exemptions under US sanctions specifically to include devices and equipment necessary to effectively combat Covid-19.