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Ilhan Omar & Bernie Sanders Say Cancel Iran Sanctions

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Congresswoman Ilhan Omar stumping for Democrat candidate for president Bernie Sanders (Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar stumping for Democrat candidate for president Bernie Sanders (Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

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.

Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan questioned the Iranian leadership’s disinterest in accepting aide or using their own resources to help its people.

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.

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.

On Thursday, April 2, Qudrat will join American Jewish University for a conversation about Iran, available free online.

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