(WASHINGTON EXAMINER) — Iran’s theocratic regime could crumble under the pressure of the coronavirus outbreak that has spread through elite ranks and the broader population alike, according to the European Union’s top diplomat.

“Elsewhere, countries like Venezuela or Iran may well collapse without our support,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell wrote in a recent bulletin to European colleagues. “This means we should ensure they have access to IMF assistance. And with Iran, we need to make sure that legitimate humanitarian trade can proceed despite US sanctions.”

Borrell’s message reflects the long-standing European frustration with President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and renew U.S. sanctions on the regime. Yet it also suggests that some Western leaders are bracing for potentially seismic geopolitical shifts at the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic, including Tehran.

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