VP says U.S. claim of lifting medicine embargo on Iran a sheer lie 

February 4, 2020 - 16:18

TEHRAN - First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri said on Tuesday that the United States is lying when it claims that pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and foodstuff are not subject to its sanctions list on Iran.

The Trump administration is also lying that it has not blocked ways of procuring medicine and foodstuff by Iran, the vice president added. 

“We have billions of dollars in different countries, including South Korea and Japan, but, the U.S. prevents us from utilizing our own money to procure medicine and foodstuff for the country,” Jahangiri said on the sideline of a ceremony in Tehran. 

Jahangiri went on to say that the U.S. has formed the “most powerful and the largest monitoring organization” worldwide to make sure that its sanctions against Iran are perfectly fulfilled. 

“If a tanker tries to transfer Iran’s crude oil, it will be traced. If it (the U.S-formed monitoring organization) can detect the tanker the monitoring organization will contact the tanker company and will urge it not to transfer Iran’s oil. It is one of the most unprecedented sanctions,” he lamented. 

In a press conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said that a Swiss-U.S. “humanitarian” channel set up to enable medicine import to Iran was insufficient, reminding that the U.S. was originally banned by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from subjecting Iran’s much-needed medical supplies to sanctions.

“Medicine and foodstuffs were never subject to sanctions in the first place so that they can now create a channel with such a show,” Mousavi said.

“We do not recognize any such so-called humanitarian channel,” Mousavi added.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and restored the previous sanctions against Iran and ordered new ones. 

Trump himself has called sanctions against Iran “economic war”. 

Under his declared “maximum pressure” campaign, Trump has introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history against Iran.
 
Iran says sanctions on its central bank will prevent it from providing medicine to its citizens.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in late 2019 that the United States’ sanctions and economic war on Iran 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 early January, Minister of Health Saeed Namaki strongly criticized the U.S. sanctions against Iran, saying the sanctions 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 fell victim to an economic war waged against them by the United States.

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.

MJ/PA

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