A growing debate over whether U.S. sanctions should be lifted in order to enable the Iranian government to tackle Iran’s COVID-19 outbreak, has polarized Western governments, charities and Middle East experts.
Organizations like the United Nations have called on the Trump Administration to temporarily lift the sanctions during the outbreak, saying the sanctions are responsible for Iran’s inability to fight the virus. However, some experts and think tanks believe the sanctions have not impeded the country’s ability to battle the disease, saying the government has billions of dollars preserved in foundations and escrow accounts it could use to tackle the pandemic.
A new report published by Washington-based think tank the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) has found that Iran’s pharmaceutical imports have not been affected by U.S. sanctions, despite the Iranian government’s statement that the penalties have blocked the provision of much-needed medical supplies.
Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies talks to Kayhan Life about the Iranian government’s accounts, the FDD’s latest report and his predictions about Iran over the next twelve months.