News ID: 266152
Published: 0429 GMT February 25, 2020

Iranian expatriates call for urgent removal of medical sanctions against Iran amid virus concern

Iranian expatriates call for urgent removal of medical sanctions against Iran amid virus concern

A number of Iranian expatriates have signed a petition, calling for urgent action from the United Nations chief and director general of the World Health Organization to stop medical sanctions against Iran as the fatal coronavirus outbreak has created concerns in the country.

The formal petition drawn up by the Iranian physician Abolfazl Fateh, also called for lifting anti-Iran sanctions to help the country to save the lives of innocent people infected by the coronavirus, named COVID-19.

“Reports from Iran suggests that the country has been severely hit with coronavirus. Dozens of people have been infected and the number is on the rise. The risk, however, is lied not only in COVID-19, but also in the severe sanctions, including medical imposed on the country. Therefore, it is an imminent risk of shortage crisis of medical supplies, products, and equipment required for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. The high and dense population of the country (more than eighty million) bordering fifteen countries makes such a prediction more reasonable”, the petition read.

“Therefore, we sincerely seek the urgent attention of the UN and WHO for lifting all sanctions that, in one way or another, may have adverse impacts on the process of dealing with COVID-19. It includes the immediate lifting of all sanctions on healthcare products, medicine, medical laboratory kits, and equipment”.

It said any delay in lifting sanctions that may affect the healthcare system in the country will increase the death toll significantly.

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran following its withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in 2018 as part of a maximum pressure campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal.

Washington then began forcing other parties to toe its sanctions line. The three European signatories to the deal – Britain, France, and Germany – have stopped their transactions with the Islamic Republic, bowing under the pressure.

The sanctions have impacted supply of medicine to Iran.

Last year, Human Rights Watch said Washington's sanctions against Tehran have drastically constrained its ability to pay for humanitarian imports and are threatening the health rights of Iranians.

Officially, the sanctions make exceptions for food, medicine and other humanitarian goods, but most companies are afraid of doing any trade with Iran for fear of repercussions in the world's largest economy.

Trump "administration officials claim they stand with the Iranian people, but the overbroad and burdensome US sanctions regime is harming Iranian's right to health, including access to live-saving medicines", HRW said in a statement in October 2019.

"The comprehensive web of US sanctions has led banks and companies to pull back from humanitarian trade with Iran, leaving Iranians who have rare or complicated diseases unable to get the medicine and treatment they require," the statement added.
















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