Sanctions Might Be Making Coronavirus Worse In Iran

Feb 27, 2020

This past week, countries all over the world saw an increase in cases of corona virus. Iran has not been an exception. It’s first cases were reported a week ago and the number has spiked. The sanctions the United States Government has on Iran, individuals in Utah who want to provide aid are limited in what they can do.

China and Iran have very close trade relations. This includes over a hundred Chinese companies with investments in Iran.

Because of this, once the coronavirus outbreak began in China at the end of last year, Bahman Baktiari, the Executive director of the Baskerville Institute in Salt Lake City, said it was only a matter of time before cases of the illness showed up in Iran.

Baktiari has published many papers that discuss relations between Iran and the United States and said the cases in Iran aren’t having a direct effect on the Iranian community in Utah, or the state itself, but there is a lot of concern around the spread of the illness.

“Many of our partners colleagues inside Iran are very worried about the quick expansion of a coronavirus in Iran. As you know, Iran stands as number two Now, next to China, in the number of deaths due to Corona virus,” said Baktiari.

Iran held its preliminary elections just days after it announced its first case. Thousands of people were in the streets for these elections and then following them there was a spike in cases of the virus in Iran. People in Iran have started to worry because of the shortage in supplies.

“We are all under the sanctions and whether you're from Utah or any part of the country, we have to abide by sanction'" said Bakriari. "So unless the US government, congressional delegation from Utah, senators take a position on this thing, it wouldn't be very difficult to get aid to Iran. Sanctions will kind of exacerbate the situation inside Iran.”

Baktiari is worried that the extent of the virus is much greater than has been reported globally.