Pressure is increasing to ease sanctions on Iran and Venezuela in response to the coronavirus crisis. Prominent Democrats in Congress have called on the administration to lift sanctions that will impede humanitarian supplies, adding their voices to the collection of organizations that are demanding sanctions relief. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also already urged the Group of 20 to ease sanctions in a bid to help countries battle the pandemic. While the hardline views of President Trump on Iran and Venezuela make it unlikely that the United States will engage in any comprehensive measures, the administration must still move quickly to provide targeted sanctions relief to alleviate human suffering.
The coronavirus has been devastating to Iran. Official statistics show that it has suffered more than 20,000 cases and nearly 2,000 deaths, but the real toll is likely much higher. Satellite imagery indicates that Iran has had to dig mass graves to bury coronavirus victims. While Venezuela appears early in the trajectory of the pandemic, its failing health system and ruined economy make it exceptionally vulnerable. Leaders in Iran and Venezuela bear ultimate responsibility for the mismanagement and corruption that has impaired their ability to respond to the disease, but the United States should nonetheless resolve to address the humanitarian issue.
Read the full article in The Hill.
More from CNAS
Sharper: The Future of Russia Relations
While the recently released U.S. National Defense Strategy names the People's Republic of China as the greatest pacing threat facing the United States, Russia poses the most i...
By Anna Pederson
Sharper: The State of AI
The U.S. government's recent chip export controls are the latest salvo in the U.S.–China rivalry in artificial intelligence. Semiconductors are a key input for AI systems and ...
By Anna Pederson
Sand in the silicon: Designing an outbound investment controls mechanism
Recent congressional efforts to establish new authorities to regulate outbound investment have revived a long-simmering debate in Washington about the economic and security ri...
By Emily Kilcrease & Sarah Bauerle Danzman
The Cost of Economic War
Sanctions, not bombs, have been the weapon chosen to take on the Putin regime. BBC speaks with macroeconomist Rachel Ziemba about the effectiveness of modern economic statecra...
By Rachel Ziemba