US Quietly Granting Iran Sanctions Waivers to Help Fight Coronavirus

Waivers granted to countries to free up money to buy medical supplies

While the State Department denies that it is the case, reports out of the Middle East say that the US has been quietly granting waivers to unfreeze Iranian assets in several countries, meant to allow Iran to buy medicine and equipment for coronavirus.

Iran has been pushing for these sanctions reliefs for weeks to help with the pandemic, and the US has repeatedly rejected the idea. This rejection is likely why the State Department is denying that there has been any change.

At the same time, it makes sense to unfreeze the assets for virus relief. The US has kept those countries sitting on the money for years, but there is little to lose from letting Iran buy medicine with it, and even if publicly denied, it likely will help US-Iran relations.

On the other hand, the US will struggle to keep this a secret, as the countries involved all certainly know about the waivers, and if Iran starts getting medicine, that’s another clear signal that things have changed, even if just temporary.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.