As nearly the entire planet suffers the economic and health effects of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, perhaps no country is feeling the consequences as harshly as the Islamic Republic of Iran. The nation is not only suffering from mass death and medical scarcity, they are suffering under the weight of the cruel economic sanctions imposed on them by the United States, which failed to live up to its end of the Iran nuclear deal of 2015. As of March 15, Iran has had a total of 724 deaths and at least 14,000 infections as a result of coronavirus. Due to the US sanctions, medical equipment required for treatment and prevention are in short supply, and the situation is only getting worse.
Even as this mass atrocity is occurring, an anti-Iran political lobbying group in the U.S. called United Against Nuclear Iran “is carrying on with its campaign targeting medical trade with Iran despite the Trump administration’s special financial channels for humanitarian goods and medicine to reach the beleaguered country.” Due to the sanctions, Iran does not have the same capabilities to freely import medical supplies that other countries have. In addition to the sanctions, companies that lawfully trade with Iran are pressured not to and subjected to a “name and shame” campaign by groups like the U.A.N.I. According to sanctions law attorney Tyler Culles, “Their efforts are not insignificant. It is, after all, not an altogether lucrative enterprise selling medical supplies to Iran, so the name-and-shame operations of outside groups have a significant impact on the cost-benefit analysis associated with doing business with Iran.” Even companies that have been granted licenses by the Treasury Department to conduct business in Iran – such as Bayer, Dickinson & Company, Merck and others – have been subjected to the U.A.N.I.’s smear campaign. The desire of the organization is to make the people of Iran suffer at any cost, even if that cost is their very lives.
Code Pink is demanding an end to these life-ending sanctions. A statement by the anti-war organization reads:
“After China and South Korea, Iran has the largest number of coronavirus cases per population and it isn’t by coincidence. U.S. sanctions on Iran have devastated Iran’s healthcare industry and contributed to its inability to respond to the coronavirus crisis.”
Even as the world seemingly went into tailspin due to unpreparedness for the deadly effects of the coronavirus, the United States and its British ally continued to wreak havoc and bloodshed in Iran’s neighboring country, Iraq. There the US and British militaries struck Iranian and Iraqi targets and killed at least 6 people, one of which was a civilian. According to Al Jazeera, “The civilian killed in the overnight attack was a cook working at an airport under construction in Karbala.” Apparently, even coronavirus won’t stop the U.S. empire from wreaking havoc on what it essentially views as its colonial subjects, as the Iraqi people are demanding in unison an end to the U.S. regime’s presence in their homeland.