U.S. pressuring pharmaceutical companies to stop Iran sales: minister

December 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki has said the U.S. is exerting pressure on all pharmaceutical companies to stop the sale of medicine to Iran.

Namaki made the remarks in an interview with Iran Press on the sidelines of the weekly cabinet session.

“They have put pressure on all our financial transactions regarding medicinal drugs and are exerting pressure on all pharmaceutical companies to stop the sale of medicines to us,” he said.

Officials in Washington repeatedly claimed they would not stop the sale of medicines and food to Iran, but they have lied, and the flow of vital medicines has been stopped, the minister explained.

Saeed Namaki says the health of the people should not be the subject of politics. 

“We buy medicines in various unofficial ways and through brokers, of course, the medicines we buy are original, but with very limited and expensive resources, we never impose this expense on our people.”

Namaki stated, “We called on the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom, to intervene so that the voices of our oppressed people are heard and America’s bullying against Iranians is exposed.”

The minister asserted that the health of the people should not be the subject of politics. 

“We hope that the pressure is lifted on the Iranian people, a nation that has fulfilled all its obligations,” he added.

President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, in May 2018 and restored the previous sanctions against Iran and ordered new ones. Trump has described his government’s sanctions against Iran as “economic war”.

Tehran says sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) will prevent it from providing food and medicine to ordinary Iranian people.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last month that the United States’ sanctions and economic war on Iran have targeted the ordinary people’s health and livelihood.

“There was a time when such warfare was used to simply limit the activities of some countries. However, new warfare of the United States and what Trump has called the ‘economic war’ have targeted the ordinary people’s livelihood and health,” the chief diplomat lamented.

Also on Monday, Zarif urged the European parties to the JCPOA to carry out their “minimal human duty” of selling pharmaceuticals to Iran. 

“Instead of arrogant threats or hollow paper promises, E3/EU—and future INSTEX shareholder Sweden—should start with something very simple; a minimal human duty: Ask @molnlyckehc to SELL products enabling Iranian kids with EB to cover their wounds,” he tweeted. 

“#EconomicTerrorism kills,” he added.

In another tweet, Zarif mentioned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying, “@SecPompeo once again admits that US #EconomicTerrorism on Iran is designed to starve, and in the case of medical supplies, kill our innocent citizens.” 

MH/PA

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