Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Press Statement by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
February 28, 2020
The United States stands with the people of Iran during the public health crisis caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The U.S. Government is prepared to assist the Iranian people in their response efforts. This offer of support to the Iranian people, which has been formally conveyed to Iran through the Government of Switzerland, underscores our ongoing commitment to address health crises and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
The United States calls on Iran to cooperate fully and transparently with international aid and health organizations. We will continue to work closely with countries in the region to help address unmet needs in response to the virus.
Persons interested in providing support to the Iranian people should note that certain donations to Iran intended to relieve human suffering, including the donation of medicine, are exempt from U.S. sanctions. In addition, the United States maintains broad exceptions and authorizations to its sanctions for the commercial export of food, medicine, medical devices, and agricultural products to Iran. In support of those exceptions and authorizations, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Government of Switzerland recently announced the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA). For more information about the SHTA, see https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm919.
Supporting the Iranian people is and will remain among our top priorities.