Washington, DC – Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin expressing concern over the limitations of humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people. PAAIA requests several measures are instituted in response to the devastating coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Iran.
Iran is one of the hardest-hit nations dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Iran has more than 27,000 coronavirus infections and its death toll reached over 2,000 as of this week. While Iranian Americans are proud patriotic Americans that contribute to all levels of U.S. society, they maintain close ties to the people of Iran. Many are eager to help the Iranian people deal with the current COVID-19 outbreak in Iran with humanitarian assistance.
The spread of COVID-19 has been a catastrophe for the people of Iran and of great concern for the Iranian American community, many of whom have family or friends still residing in Iran. As a result, PAAIA requested the administration clarify what is permitted and prohibited under U.S. law, and make any appropriate changes to existing regulations that would help to save lives and contain the spread of this dangerous pandemic. Recommendations include expanding humanitarian exemptions under General License E as well as the issuance of guidelines on delivering medical supplies to Iran.
The letter follows PAAIA’s efforts to bring relief to the Iranian people through its coalition, the Humanitarian Relief Coalition (HUREC). HUREC will work in collaboration with international relief organizations that are uniquely positioned to respond to the coronavirus crisis in Iran to quickly and effectively turn generous donations into needed medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to reach those in the areas most affected.
HUREC is in need of financial support to make a significant impact in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to make a donation to the Humanitarian Relief Coalition and here to learn more about HUREC.
March 25, 2020