Writing for the Financial Times the talented Iranian journalist, Najmeh Bozorgmehr, reports on how US-imposed sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank are preventing critically-ill patients from getting crucial medical aid:
The government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says international sanctions have had little impact on the country and insists that its nuclear program should continue. It has launched a public relations campaign stressing that 97 percent of Iran’s medicine is produced domestically — a clear attempt to prevent panic that medical supplies could be at risk.
However, Ahmad Ghavidel, head of the Iranian Hemophilia Society, a nongovernmental organization that assists about 8,000 patients, says access to medicine has become increasingly limited and claims one young man recently died in southern Iran after an accident when the blood-clotting injection he needed was not available.
“This is a blatant hostage-taking of the most vulnerable people by countries which claim they care about human rights,” Ghavidel said. “Even a few days of delay can have serious consequences like hemorrhage and disability.”
In July Iran scholar Farideh Farhi informed us about an important report by the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) that details the negative impact of sanctions on ordinary Iranians. Farhi’s article provides useful context and analysis for Bozorgmehr’s piece. She writes:
If ICAN’s analysis is accurate, it also foretells harsher economic realities for the most vulnerable elements of Iran’s population, a harsher political environment for those agitating for change, and a more hostile setting for those who have tried to maintain historical links between Western societies and Iranian society.
Sanctions impact calculations, but usually not in the intended fashion.