Policy Article

A crisis in times of crisis: Combating COVID-19 under sanctions in Iran?


  • Chowdhry
  • S.
  • Jacobs
  • A.
  • Kamin
  • K.
Publication Date

Iran is one of the countries most affected by COVID-19 worldwide and is considered the epicenter of the outbreak in the Middle East. The growing number of cases in combination with the already ailing economy is putting increasing pressure on the Iranian healthcare system. The delayed reaction of the Iranian government to the outbreak of the pandemic and the low level of political confidence of the population in politics aggravate the crisis situation. In their contribution, the authors show that the far-reaching sanctions Iran has been subject to since the US withdrew from the nuclear agreement make it difficult for the health care system to react quickly to COVID-19. The authors recommend that the European Union, in its role as a responsible "global player", ensure the transfer of medical equipment for humanitarian purposes to Iran and strengthen cooperation efforts in the wake of the pandemic at the level of multilateral institutions. The EU should also play an active role in maintaining the dialogue between the USA and Iran.

Kiel Institute Experts


Key Words

  • COVID19
  • Iran
  • Sanctions
  • trade policy