Is The Time Right To Re-open Iran?

Iran has already begun easing its coronavirus restrictions by re-opening “low-risk” businesses in select areas.

As the nation continues its efforts to contain the disease, the government is concerned that restrictions limiting business activity during the pandemic are not sustainable in an economy already struggling from US sanctions.

The UN, EU and others have called on the Trump administration to ease its “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions on Iran, which many argue are hindering disease control efforts. Iran is the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the virus, with more than 5,000 deaths and 80,000 infections since February.

Although sanctions have placed limitations on foreign financial transactions to Iran, the US insists they are not blocking medical supplies or humanitarian aid.

Criticism has also fallen on Iran’s leaders who were slower than other countries in ordering travel restrictions and the closure of non-essential businesses. Officials said many citizens initially ignored social distancing guidelines and now some officials are fearing a second wave of infections. {Al Jazeera}