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Hook to Al-Monitor: 'Diplomatic malpractice' to let UN arms ban on Iran expire this year

Top US diplomat Brian Hook tells Al-Monitor they are "looking at what we can do” to assist the Iranian people during the coronavirus outbreak and he has confidence in the new Swiss humanitarian channel, but "the regime has first responsibility to its own people."

WASHINGTON — Top US diplomat on Iran Brian Hook, speaking at a breakfast meeting convened by Al-Monitor Feb. 28, said the US government is looking at how it might assist the Iranian people during the coronavirus outbreak but it was the Iranian regime that bore primary responsibility for how it managed the crisis.

“We are looking at what we can do,” Hook, the special representative for Iran and senior policy adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said in response to the question of whether the United States would issue a general license to facilitate Iran’s procurement of respirators and disinfectant equipment to fight the virus, which Iranian authorities report has killed 34 nationals and infected almost 400. The BBC reported today that it has learned from Iranian hospital sources that the Iranian death toll from coronavirus is 210 so far, compared to the official Iranian government death toll of 34.

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