Radical Democrat Reps Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have demanded that President Trump end U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The far-left lawmakers were joined by several other Democratic colleagues in urging the Trump administration to drop sanctions against the Islamic Republican due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I led a letter with [AOC] and [Sen. Bernie Sanders] demanding this Administration end [sic] sanctions against Iran during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Omar said on Tuesday.
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“These sanctions aren’t changing the behavior of the Iranian government, but directly punishing innocent civilians,” she warned.
Redstate.com reports: Alexandria also took Trump to task via Twitter, retweeting a a post from Huffpost Foreign Affairs Reporter Akbar Shahid Ahmed:
“@AOC @BernieSanders @IlhanMN @ewarren & co want to suspend sanctions on Iran that make it hard to import meds, PPE & respirators despite one of the world’s biggest COVID-19 outbreaks and Trump’s claims of having made enough humanitarian concessions.”
Here’s Bern’s push for the pardon:
From the Huffpost article:
The congressional letter, shared with HuffPost ahead of its public release, is addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Notable signatories include Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
The letter asserts sanctions must stop in order to help people in America “and around the world”:
“Allowing this crisis to become more dire in Iran threatens significant harm not only to the people of Iran but also to people in the United States and around the world.”
When it comes to assistance during the pandemic, so far as friction with Iran is concerned, the letter favors a “problems, schmoblems” approach:
“Our many disputes with the government of Iran or others should not stand in the way of actions that can materially help innocent people weather a pandemic.”
As noted by The Daily Wire, the letter references the W. Bush White House’s eased sanctions following the 2003 earthquake — and its deliverance of aid — as precedent.
AOC and friends want relief for Iran in areas “including those impacting civilian industries, Iran’s banking sector and exports of oil.”
And it should last, they insist, “for at least as long as health experts believe the crisis will continue.”
As we’re talking about a virus which, so far as we know at the moment, may just be a sickness which exists in the world from now until forever, that could be a long time. Depending, of course, on how you define the “end” of the crisis.
Sound like a good idea?
As reported by The Independent, on Tuesday, Pompeo perhaps suggested an ease on sanctions was possible:
“We evaluate all of our policies constantly, so the answer is – would we ever rethink? – Of course. … The United States understands this is a humanitarian challenge, a humanitarian crisis, and we are deeply committed to ensuring that humanitarian assistance gets to the people of those countries. We care more often about the people in those countries than their own leaders do.”
He also made clear humanitarian and medical supplies were already exempt.