Medicine import impossible due to sanctions, Iranian health minister writes to WHO chief

January 1, 2020 - 19:10

TEHRAN — Minister of Health Saeed Namaki has strongly criticized the U.S. sanctions against Iran, saying the sanctions have made it virtually impossible for Iran to import medicine and medical equipment.

Namaki made the remarks in a letter to the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).

He said the Iranian people have fallen victim to an economic war waged against them by the United States, Iran Press reported on Wednesday.

He stated that while the U.S. government claims that the sanctions do not include medicine, foodstuff, and medical equipment, it has blocked almost all of Iran’s financial transactions.

“Following my earlier letter dated 17 November 2019, the situation has aggravated and the international community, especially the UN representatives, have done nothing in this respect,” Namaki added.

He argued that Iran has always been after constructive and dignified interaction with the world based on mutual respect while condemning Washington’s unilateral exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and reinstatement of sanctions against Iran.

On November 17, Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki in separate letters to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, urged the international community to break the silence on inhumane sanctions imposed by the United States against the country.

Tehran has repeatedly said that the U.S. sanctions will prevent it from buying medicine.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in November that the United States’ sanctions and economic war on Iran have targeted 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.

In December, Zarif mentioned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet, 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.”

“#EconomicTerrorism kills,” he tweeted.


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