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Group statement | 20 April 2020

APLN endorses the ELN-Iran Project’s joint statement on Iran sanctions relief

The Asia Pacific Leadership Network (APLN) warmly endorses the European Leadership Network (ELN) and The Iran Project’s joint statement on “Transatlantic Call to Ease Humanitarian Trade with Iran due to the Covid-19 Pandemic”.

Iran, like many other countries, is currently struggling to manage the impact of Covid-19, and its reported case fatality rate is one of the highest in the world. Failure to provide immediate and effective relief will endanger millions of Iranians.

A major contribution to easing the health crisis in Iran could be made by the United States relaxing its insistence on maintaining “maximum pressure” against Iran, as proposed by ELN and The Iran Project. These measures include:

  • Expanding the scope of humanitarian exemptions under U.S. sanctions to include devices and equipment necessary to effectively combat Covid-19;
  • Adding staff and resources at the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to speed-up the licensing process;
  • Issuing comfort letters to European and other non-U.S. banks to reassure them they will not run afoul of OFAC if they facilitate humanitarian trade with Iran; and
  • Offering regular updates on the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement, and expressing support for humanitarian trade.

APLN strongly agrees that these measures, while helping to relieve profound human suffering, would not compromise any current or future leverage in negotiations with Iran.


Gareth Evans



Chung-in Moon

Vice-Chair and Executive Director


Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament


102 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu

Seoul, Republic of Korea (03169)

Tel: 82-2-2135-2170

Email: [email protected]



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