US rejects China’s call for coronavirus-linked Iran sanctions relief

Washington: The United States is unlikely to ease sanctions on Iran despite an appeal from China that it do so because of the coronavirus pandemic, sources familiar with the matter said, arguing that Tehran continues what Washington regards as its malign behaviour.

An Iranian customer buys a Pepsi in a grocery store in downtown Tehran.

An Iranian customer buys a Pepsi in a grocery store in downtown Tehran. Credit:AP

The sources, who included a US official, diplomats and analysts, noted Washington has made offers to help Tehran with the outbreak but these have been spurned by Tehran.

They also cited Wednesday’s rocket attack on Iraq’s Taji military camp north of Baghdad that killed one British and two American personnel and that the Pentagon blamed on the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah Shi’ite militia.

“The regime can’t be trusted to channel whatever money it would gain from the easing of pressure toward humanitarian activity. The likelihood is the elites will steal it and/or funnel it toward malign activity,” said a US official on condition of anonymity.

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/us-rejects-china-s-call-for-coronavirus-linked-iran-sanctions-relief-20200317-p54asr.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world

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