By Shervin Ghaffari
The United States has a stake in helping Iran bring its coronavirus outbreak under control; after all, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in New York was a woman who flew in from Iran. But crippling U.S. sanctions are hampering Iran’s ability to import masks, medicine, and other crucial medical supplies, undermining their efforts to combat the virus. Even though exemptions on humanitarian trade currently exist on paper, they have been ineffective and are inadequate in dealing with the magnitude of the crisis. By easing sanctions, the U.S. would help get the global pandemic under control, while simultaneously displaying a foreign policy undergirded by values and potentially winning back some lost goodwill from ordinary Iranians.
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