Coons, colleagues urge Trump administration to clarify humanitarian exemptions on Iran sanctions

Dover Post – Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, led his colleagues in an April 10 letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the administration to clarify humanitarian exemptions to American sanctions on Iran.

The letter calls for alternative actions to help the Iranian people in their fight against COVID-19.

“U.S. sanctions on any country and in particular on Iran produce a chilling effect on all international transactions — even legal ones — with that country,” wrote the members. “This chilling effect is part of the reason why U.S. sanctions can be effective, but it also compels us to be even more transparent and vocal about which transactions will violate our sanctions and which are permissible as the world battles a deadly pandemic. We believe articulating the exemptions to U.S. sanctions clearly and often are important to maintaining international support for U.S. sanctions on Iran while at the same time helping the Iranian people and the broader region fight COVID-19.”

In addition to Coons, the letter was signed by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, and Reps. Dean Phillips, D-Minnesota, Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, and Rick Larsen, D-Washington.

The full text of the letter is available at