Iran: U.S. Sanctions Have ‘Led to the Death of Many Innocent’ Iranians

An Iranian cleric walks past a mural depicting a woman in downtown Tehran on February 24, 2016. / AFP / BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian officials complained U.S. sanctions against the country’s economy are having an adverse effect on the population’s health, state media reported Tuesday.

State-run Fars News Agency quotes a letter sent by the president of Iran’s Academy of Medical Sciences, Seyed Alireza Marandi, to European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini this week on the impact of Washington’s sanctions against the country over their plans to develop nuclear weapons.

“As the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Academy of Medical Sciences, which has a duty to monitor the health of our citizens, I would like to declare a number of points to you regarding the outrageous sanctions against our innocent people,” Marandi wrote.

“The illegal sanctions based on evidence and documentation and as stated in the several correspondences that I have had with the UN Secretary-General, have limited the access to medicine and vital medical equipment leading to critical health conditions and the death of many innocent patients,” he added.

Although U.S. sanctions do not directly target hospitals or the country’s medical industry, Alireza went on to argue that the economic impact of the sanctions have made it harder for Iranians to afford vital medical care:

The use of brutal sanctions has led to a reduction in the value of the national currency, a decrease in the public’s purchasing power, and rising prices. As a result, providing affordable healthy food for many people has become problematic. Therefore, the US-led economic warfare and terrorism has had a direct impact on the health of the community.

Major events, such as flooding in parts of our country in recent months, have seriously damaged houses and living conditions for many people, and unfortunately, cruel sanctions have prevented international financial aid and even aid from fellow Iranians abroad to reach the people in need. Meanwhile, soaring summer temperatures increase the risk of an outbreak of contagious diseases among these people.

The European Union has remained a strong supporter of the Iranian nuclear deal brokered by Barack Obama in 2015. In May, Mogherini announced she was “determined to preserve” the deal despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it.

“As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments, as it is doing so far, the European Union will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal,” she said at the time. “We fully trust the work, competence, and autonomy of the International Atomic Energy Agency that has published 10 reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments.”

Since pulling out of the deal last May and re-imposing sanctions against Iran, the country has experienced a severe economic downturn that is only likely to have further destabilized the Islamic regime. Last month, a Gallup poll found that a record-high 57 percent of Iranians said the local economy was getting worse as the World Bank has repeatedly downgraded the country’s economic outlook.

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