Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, along with presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more than 30 other members of Congress, petitioned President Trump to suspend Iran sanctions.
Currently, under U.S. sanctions, Iran claims it is limited in its ability to import medicine and specialized medical equipment.
However Iran has continually refused assistance from the U.S., instead pushing out a conspiracy theory claiming that the coronavirus is a man-made disease manufactured by the U.S. and “specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians,” in the words of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Ilhan Omar’s challenger, Dalia Al-Aqidi, was first to push back against the call for sanctions relief by playing on the suspicions that the Omar holds more sympathy for foreign enemies than she does for constituents in her own district.
You’re always pulling for the enemies of America.
— Dalia al-Aqidi (@Dalia4Congress) March 31, 2020
Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan questioned the Iranian leadership’s disinterest in accepting aide or using their own resources to help its people.
Except @khamenei_ir refused the aid US offered and refused to use his billions of dollars to help Irani people but continue to push his puppets in the US to demand lift of sanctions so his militias continue their terrorism which didn’t stop during Pandemic. Let’s talk about that. https://t.co/totPIKlspu
— Sarai (Sarah Idan) Miss Iraq (@RealSarahIdan) March 31, 2020
Clarion Project’s Shireen Qudosi suspects the plea for sanction relief by the U.S. Congress members may have less to do with human rights concerns for Iran’s afflicted population and more to do with securing political opportunities during a global crisis.
3. The 32 members of Congress — including @Ilhan Omar — are not humanitarian good will agents. They are equal opportunists in human suffering, not realizing that steadfast accountability and consistency is key in dealing with rogue players.
— Shireen Qudosi (@ShireenQudosi) April 1, 2020
Iran’s tally of citizens infected by COVID-19 is estimated at close to 3,000 Iranians with around 140 deaths (contrary to Bernie Sander’s claim on March 31 that 2,600 Iranians have died) . However, as Clarion Project reported earlier, it’s unclear what that exact number is given that the Iranian Republican has not been forthcoming about its healthcare crisis.
Iran has also only recently closed non-essential businesses and limited travel. As The New York Times reported in early March, Iran’s coronavirus response was laden with pride, paranoia, secrecy and chaos — adding further that “Iran has among the most coronavirus deaths outside China, and Iranian medical workers have been told to keep quiet.”
The Trump administration is unlikely to be swayed. Also among the unswayed is former Congressional candidate and terror prosecutor Omar Qudrat, who pushes the “ask” on Iran.
Let’s instead ask Iran to cancel all terrorism during this crisis.
And cancel killing Americans in Iraq during this crisis.
Humanitarian aid is exempted in U.S. sanctions frameworks, including for Iran.
Additionally Ayatollah Khamanei refused America’s offer of COVID-19 aid. https://t.co/4rdZvWlCCe
— Omar Qudrat (@omarqudrat1) March 31, 2020
On Thursday, April 2, Qudrat will join American Jewish University for a conversation about Iran, available free online.
Join attorneys @OmarQudratCA52 and @samyebri on , in conversation with @jeffreyherbst, President of American Jewish University, for a timely and bold conversation about Iran and America. Thursday, April 2nd at 7pm PST. https://t.co/cXXgnwpRnh pic.twitter.com/RcnVWK5hN9
— American Jewish University (@AmericanJewishU) March 30, 2020