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Former world officials: US sanctions compromising Iran healthcare system amid pandemic

A group of 24 senior diplomats and defense officials have called on US President Donald Trump to make a targeted effort to ease Washington’s rules, which prevent Tehran from trading in medical and humanitarian goods, in order to save “potentially hundreds of thousands of lives” across the Middle East amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, the group said the move “could potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iranians and, by helping to curb the virus’s rapid spread across borders, the lives of its neighbors, Europeans, Americans and others,” The Guardian reported.

Former EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, former director general of the World Health Organization Gro Harlem Brundtland, four former NATO secretary generals and senior American diplomats in the administrations of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are among the main supporters of the call.

Signatories also include former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former US defense secretaries William Cohen and Chuck Hagel, former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Hans Blix, former US treasury secretary Paul O’Neill, former US lead diplomat on the Iran deal, William Burns, and former NATO secretary general George Robertson.

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