Fifty-one former senior U.S. officials and foreign policy experts sent a joint nonpartisan letter, obtained and published first by SaraACarter.com on Thursday, to President Donald Trump urging him ‘not to lift sanctions on Iran’ as Democratic lawmakers continue to pressure his administration to lift them arguing it’s a necessary measure in supporting Iran’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The letter to President Trump, signed by many former senior officials who served in Democratic and Republican administrations, asserts that sanctions can only be lifted “until and unless the regime ceases its sponsorship of terrorism, dismantles its nuclear and missile programs, releases all American hostages, removes its forces from other countries in the Middle East, and ends its relentless abuse of the Iranian people.”
Some of the most important names to sign the letter include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace, and Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, along with others.
“President Hassan Rouhani recently revealed that the Islamic Republic is waging a global influence campaign to use the spread of COVID-19 as a pretext for obtaining sanctions relief – money the regime wants to help subsidize its malign activities. Since Iran has not suspended its engagement in these activities amidst the outbreak of COVID-19, U.S. sanctions – which do not impede the flow of humanitarian goods to Iran – should not be suspended either,” the letter states.
The Iranian government continues to push the Trump administration to lift sanctions complaining that sanctions are hindering Iran’s ability to handle the pandemic. The State Department, however, created a loophole in February to allow for the free and unrestricted flow of humanitarian and medical aid to Iran.
Additionally, there are questions as to whether Iran’s sufficiently and transparently handled the virus. Israel’s Foreign Intelligence Agency’s (Mossad) Director Yossi Cohen said during a briefing Thursday that Iran is ‘intentionally’ lying about their coronavirus numbers, officials who attended the event told Axios.
“There [has] been widespread infection and they are lying about it,” Cohen said, according to reports. “The numbers the Iranians are reporting about are not true. The numbers of infected and dead I know about are much higher.”
The recent letter applauds President Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” for hampering “the Islamic Republic’s ability to generate revenue to support its malign activities, the clerical regime is still able to draw on billions of escrowed oil dollars to fund the importation of humanitarian goods.”
It continues, “Moreover, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has access to billions of dollars in his own business empire – money stolen from the Iranian people. Billions more are available in Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, which Khamenei has tapped in recent months to fund the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, nuclear expansion, and human rights abuses.”
Several U.S. lawmakers have echoed Iran’s calls to ease sanctions including Senator Chris Murphy, who along with ten other Democratic Senators, sent a letter on March 26 to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin asking the Trump administration to permit “the free flow of desperately needed medical and humanitarian supplies” by lifting sanctions. Days later, on March 31, ten other Democratic lawmakers wrote a similar letter addressed to Secs. Pompeo and Mnuchin advocating for a suspension of sanctions.
The U.S. government has imposed sanctions against Iran since 1979, the year the Iranian hostage crisis occurred. With Iran’s more recent efforts to ramp up nuclear weapons capabilities and its ongoing global terrorism campaign, the U.S. has imposed additional pressure on the country.
Read the full letter below:
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No help at our border, but Biden announces $5 billion going to bike paths, wider sidewalks
In the world of Democrat delusion, they think $5 billion is necessary, at this point in time, to make bike paths and widen side walks. You cannot make this up. They have approved $40 billion in aide to Ukraine in a heartbeat under President Biden, while having rejected former President Trump’s request for a mere $5 billion to secure our border.
The news also comes as fentanyl and the drug overdoses are the number one cause of death in the U.S. There’s also an increase in human smuggling and extortion to pay to cross the border. But no; let’s make some bike paths and widen sidewalks. That is an immediate emergency.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Monday that money will be used over five years under his department’s new “Safe Streets & Roads for All” program. The $5 billion ini federals funds will be used “to slow down cars chia more speed cameras, carve out bike paths and wider sidewalks and urging commuters to public transit” reports Daily Mail.
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The desire to fix roads is a noble one, as “road traffic injuries also are the leading cause of death among young people aged 5-29. Young adults aged 15-4 account for more than half of all road deaths” reports Daily Mail, which adds:
Still, much of the federal roadmap relies on cooperation from cities and states, and it could take months if not years to fully implement with discernible results – too late to soothe 2022 midterm voters unsettled by this and other pandemic-related ills, such as rising crime.
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It cites examples of good projects as those that promise to transform a high-crash roadway, such as by adding rumble strips to slow cars or installing speed cameras, which the department says could provide more equitable enforcement than police traffic stops; flashing beacons for pedestrian crosswalks; new ‘safe routes’ via sidewalks or other protected pathways to school or public transit in underserved communities; and other ‘quick build’ roadway changes designed with community input.
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