“International sanctions against Iran are related mainly to the Iranian nuclear program. European countries do not apply to humanitarian and health assistance, a Belgian diplomat told ILNA.
The ex- European Union's Special Representative to the Middle East peace process Marc Otte said in an exclusive interview with ILNA news agency that European countries have put in place a system to bypass American secondary sanctions, while at the same time trying to convince the US to give up its opposition to the JCPOA and related sanctions.
“European sanctions do not apply to the delivery of humanitarian and medical supplies,” he added.
Answering to question about how much aid Tehran can get under US sanctions, Marc Otte said that first of all; let me express my sympathy to the Iranian people suffering from the pandemic, on top of other problems due to the international and domestic context. When it comes to the impact of the virus, all humans are in the same boat, although I will admit that some suffer more than others all over the place.
“I agree sanctions limit the availability of financial means. But Iran has competent doctors and nurses. If those means were dedicated to fighting the virus, the health situation would improve,” the Belgian diplomat said.
The Director-General of the Egmont Institute refers to recent tension between Tehran and Washington and stated that tensions between the US and Iran are indeed worsening. It is a risk for peace and stability in the region.
“If there could be a bilateral dialogue in the past, there is no reason it could not happen again. Third countries could facilitate. Players in the region have an important role to play, so do the Europeans,” he added.
Marc Otte confirmed “One could start with confidence-building and early warning mechanisms in order to build a minimum of trust; and then move on to structural measures to control armaments (conventional or not) and military deployments in the region, including verification procedures, as well as transparency.”