Rouhani: US Sanctions Severely Hamper Iran’s Coronavirus Response

Iran seeks emergency funding, asks US to stop enforcing sanctions

US sanctions have long limited the flow of humanitarian aid into Iran, which is a problem at the best of times. With Iran facing the third worst coronavirus outbreak of any country, those US sanctions are increasingly deadly, according to President Hassan Rouhani.

Rouhani has submitted a letter detailing the ways in which US sanctions are hindering the Iranian government’s attempts to fight coronavirus. Rouhani is also urging the US and the world to stop observing the sanctions during this emergency.

Iranian FM Javad Zarif echoed this on Twitter, saying it “is immoral to let a bully kill innocents.” Iran is being particularly clear about the trouble they’re in, seeking $5 billion in funding from the IMF particularly to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

US sanctions are a particularly complicating factor because officially, US law does not limit humanitarian goods going to Iran, but the banking sanctions do scare international banks and other outlets away from facilitating what would be otherwise perfectly legal aid shipments.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of