Lebanese health minister describes sanctions on as “cruel”

Iran’s health minister calls U.S. sanctions crime against humanity

August 5, 2019 - 20:37

TEHRAN – Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Monday that the U.S. sanctions are “crime against humanity”.

“The U.S. administration’s actions in sanctioning medicine that the Iranian patients need, and Washington’s pressure in the area of health are crime against humanity,” he said in a joint press conference with Lebanese Health Minister Jamil Jabak in Tehran.

Namaki also said the U.S. sanctions in the area of medicine are “illogical” and “inhuman”.

Jabak described sanctions against Iran as “cruel”.

He also said there is no restriction for Lebanon to cooperate with Iran.

President Hassan Rouhani said in June the U.S. sanctions against Iran constitute examples of “crime against humanity and economic terrorism” because they have targeted ordinary people’s “lives and needs”.

“It should not be said that the U.S. has imposed sanctions on us, because they are not sanctions. They are crime against humanity. They could be called sanctions if they targeted some of our sensitive industries, but they are crime against humanity and economic terrorism when they target the people’s lives and needs,” he said in a cabinet meeting.

Kianoush Jahanpour, spokesman for Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, told ISNA in an interview published on November 13, 2018 that the claim by Washington that medicine is exempt from sanctions is a “big clear lie”.

Sanctions include food and medicine and the only point is that these two items have not been mentioned in the sanctions list announced by the Trump administration, he said.

Farhad Ehteshamzad, the head of the Iran Auto Importers Association, has also told ISNA that foreign banks refrain from interacting with Iran, because they fear to be punished by the U.S. which also impedes importing certain commodities such as food and medicine.

In a tweet on November 12, 2018 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that “the U.S. does not, and never did, sanction food and medicine. They are exempt from sanctions.”

Scientific Societies for Medical Sciences in Iran wrote a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres in March 2019 condemning the U.S. sanctions against Iran, urging the international community to resist sanctions targeting “medical needs” and “humanitarian aid”.

“Scientific Societies for Medical Sciences in Iran call on int'l community to: condemn U.S. sanctions on Iran; strongly resist the targeting of medical needs [and] humanitarian aid; and thwart targeting of research [and] scientific advancement,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his twitter account in March 2019.


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