Washington Post Spouts False Iranian Talking Points On Sanctions Allegedly Blocking Vaccine

Washington Post Spouts False Iranian Talking Points On Sanctions Allegedly Blocking Vaccine

The Washington Post amplified Iranian rhetoric in an article published Monday accusing the Trump administration’s most recent sanctions targeting Iranian banks of severely hindering the country’s attempts to secure access to a coronarvirus vaccine.

“U.S. sanctions could impede Iran’s access to coronavirus vaccines, experts say,” the headline reads.

The story then goes on to acknowledge that the statement implied by the headline is false, quoting a spokesperson for COVAX, a global vaccine initiative involving governments and health organizations, who confirmed “Iran has secured a license from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to exempt the Covax payment.”

“There is no legal barrier to Iran procuring vaccines through the COVAX Facility,” the person said in an email to WaPo.

Even though multiple sources, including the U.S. government, have clear that medical supplies are not included in the U.S. sanctions against Iranian’s nuclear actions, the Post instead echoed complaints sounded by the Iranian regime, condemning the limitations as preventing access to COVID vaccine.

“Our country’s prepayment to participate in Covax is underway, but due to the cowardly sanctions of the Americans and the problems in the transfer of currency, this has not happened yet,” Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari reportedly told state television last month, implying Iran’s initial COVAX payment to ensure participation had been held up.

The Post’s article also amplified statements from “analysts,” some of whom are openly pro-Iranian, claiming sanctions have created obstacles that are obstructing humanitarian relief efforts. The story failed to mention Iran not only declined help from multiple nations during the peak of its COVID-19 crisis, but also has a history of hoarding and mismanaging medical supplies.

The article also ignored the corrupt history of the Iranian regime when it comes to handling internal affairs, including losing billions of dollars dedicated to “importing medicines” and “essential goods” just last year.

In a Twitter thread breaking down the Washington Post’s misconstruing of the sanctions, Heshmat Alavi noted that some of the most prominent voices accusing U.S. sanctions of burdening the Iranian regime’s efforts to care for its people have “close ties” to the Biden administration.

Other groups such as the National Iranian American Council, who Alavi notes have connections with congresspeople, have a habit of regurgitating Iranian talking points against the U.S.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.
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