Ilhan Omar calls for lifting US sanctions on Iran amid coronavirus outbreak

Ilhan Omar calls for lifting US sanctions on Iran amid coronavirus outbreak
Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar reiterated her opposition to punitive US sanctions against Iran as the country undergoes a growing coronavirus epidemic.
2 min read
14 March, 2020
Omar has criticised the US' sanctions on Iran prior to the coronavirus pandemic [Getty]
United States congresswoman Ilhan Omar has called for the US to suspend sanctions against Iran in a Friday tweet, as the Islamic Republic's number of COVID-19 cases continues to soar.

Minnesota Democratic Representative Omar quote tweeted Iranian-American activist Hoda Katebi, who said her aunt, an Iran-based doctor, shares her face mask with colleagues due to a "massive" shortage of medical supplies enabled by US sanctions on Iran.

"For the love of GOD we need to end sanctions on Iran NOW," tweeted Katebi.

Omar shared the anecdote, simply adding: "We need to suspend these sanctions before more lives are lost".

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Omar has criticised US President Donald Trump's announcement of additional economic sanctions on Iran in January.

"Sanctions are economic warfare," Omar tweeted. "They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran."

Iran said Friday that security forces will clear the streets nationwide within 24 hours so all citizens can be checked for coronavirus, its toughest measure yet to combat the outbreak.

The coronavirus epidemic in Iran - a nation of more than 80 million people - has claimed over 500 lives and infected more than 11,000 people.

Satellite images of alleged mass graves in the Iranian city of Qom publicised this week have raised concerns as to whether the country's epidemic is far more severe than authorities will admit.

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