Iran must stop nuclear activities before sanctions lifted, says Israel’s UN envoy

“As long as the regime continues its nuclear and terrorist programs, sanctions must remain in place,” said Danny Danon.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that Iran must halt its nuclear program before any sanctions are lifted to help combat the rapidly growing coronavirus cases in the country.

“Israel remains in favor of providing humanitarian aid to the Iranian people,” Danon told the Post. “But as long as the regime continues its nuclear and terrorist programs, sanctions must remain in place.”

Lawmakers in the U.S. and the international community have called on President Donald Trump to scale back on Iranian sanctions to help the regime curb the spread of coronavirus.

On Tuesday, a letter signed by presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and six other congressmen was sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding the administration lift sanctions on Iran for humanitarian purposes.

“Rather than continue to pile on sanctions in the Iranian people’s hour of need, we urge you to substantially suspend sanctions on Iran in a humanitarian gesture to the Iranian people to better enable them to fight the virus,” the letter stated.

“Failure to do so risks inhibiting the delivery of key humanitarian goods, and putting the Iranian people into further health and economic peril,” it added.

Earlier in the week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet issued a similar statement.

“Human rights reports have repeatedly emphasized the impact of sectoral sanctions on access to essential medicines and medical equipment – including respirators and protective equipment for health-care workers,” Bachelet said.

“More than 50 Iranian medics have died,” she added.

Iranian Health Ministry spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour anounced on Friday that 32,332 Iranians have contracted the deadly virus and 2,234 have died because of it.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, amid pressure from China and Russia, last week defended the sanctions by saying it does not interfere with the humanitarian aid the U.S. is offering Iran.

“We are trying to help, we continue to offer assistance to Iran in numerous ways. We have an open humanitarian channel to facilitate legitimate transactions even while ensuring that our maximum pressure campaign denies terrorists money,” he said.