0231 GMT January 27, 2020
Speaking at a meeting with high-ranking Spanish health officials in Madrid, Mehdi Shadnoush presented a report on the situation of patients with rare diseases in Iran and described the US sanctions and their impact on their quality of life and sufferings as “cruel and inhumane,” Tasnim News Agency reported.
Patients with rare diseases around the world have common pains, and the US government should answer the question as to why these patients’ lives should be affected by the political and economic developments, he added.
“The US restrictions have been inhumane and created problems for patients with rare diseases but the Iranian government remains committed to providing the necessary support for them…,” Shadnoush added.
While the United States insists that medicines and humanitarian goods are exempt from sanctions, restrictions on trade have made many banks and companies across the world hesitant to do business with Iran, fearing punitive measures from Washington. The country is cut off from the international banking system.
US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year and reimposed punitive sanctions as part of a stated campaign of "maximum pressure" against the Islamic Republic.
Also in October, Human Rights Watch said that American sanctions against Iran have drastically constrained the country’s ability to pay for humanitarian imports and are threatening the health rights of Iranians.
Last month, it was announced by an NGO that Iranian children suffering from epidermolysis bullosa (EB) are the new victims of inhumane US sanctions against Tehran, as Washington’s bans are preventing a Swedish supplier from sending protective bandages to the country.
Hamidreza Hashemi-Golpayegani, the head of the NGO that helps such patients, said on November 10 that at least 15 Iranian children with EB have died since the US launched its new sanctions on Iran in August.
During the meeting, the two sides also exchanged views about a range of issues, including ways to reduce the problems of Iranian patients with rare diseases.