Qom, Iran. Photo: Wikimedia Commons Qom, Iran. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Trump’s sanctions on Iran are limiting the country’s ability to deal with the coronavirus outbreak effectively and it’s costing lives, writes Jonathan Maunders

While Coronavirus continues to spread across the world, the imperialist sanctions placed on Iran by the US are helping to increase the crisis in the former.

It has widely been reported in recent weeks that many prominent figures in the Iranian government have been suffering from the disease, but the reality is far more frightening.

Iran currently sits third, behind China and Italy, in terms of the most reported Coronavirus cases. However, statistics show that it is spreading faster in Iran than anywhere else, with the country reporting the most new cases and, more worryingly, the most new deaths. There is also speculation that these figures may be greatly underestimated.

It is clear that US sanctions placed on Iran have played a pivotal role in this crisis, limiting essential medical equipment and Iranian purchasing power.

Iranian hospital workers have consistently reported that they don’t have the facility to effectively screen potential cases, this comes as testing kits were only made available in late February due to the US imposed sanctions.

This is despite the US administration saying that ‘humanitarian and medical needs’ are spared from sanctions.

However, these sanctions and the limitations on Iranian banks have acted to dissuade many companies in Europe from doing business in Iran.

This has all led to a dire lack of essential medical items like medicines, hand sanitiser, ventilators and surgical masks, helping the Coronavirus spread and making it far more deadly for those who do contract it.

Recent Human Rights Watch studies concluded that the latest round of US sanctions had acted to decimate Iran’s healthcare sector, placing many Iranian lives at risk.

This seems to be reflected in the speed in which the disease is spreading through the country, as well as the high mortality rate.

We must be clear that Trump’s sanctions are increasing the threat of the disease and are, in effect, killing many Iranian civilians.

The USA must halt its cynical measures to allow vital medical and humanitarian aid into Iran before the death toll increases further.

We should also demand the British government challenges the Trump administration to lift the sanctions to prevent millions of Iranians being put at risk.

As it stands, US imperialism is cynically plunging Iran into a deadly crisis, taking innocent lives and threatening many more.