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Iranian’s health in jeopardy by US-imposed sanctions; warning from health specialists.

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�Petition Against Sanctions on Iran

Iranian people’s access to life-saving medication and medical supplies is getting seriously jeopardized as a consequence of the unilateral policies of President Trump. His administration is set to reimpose economic, trade, scientific and military sanctions on November 4th, a result of the United States’ decision to unilaterally withdraw from the multinational Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).

Economic sanctions are not intended to affect imports of medical goods, but they do in a variety of ways. Bans on the Central Bank of Iran combined with suffocating restrictions on international banks dealing with Iran will make financial transactions, even for humanitarian trade, challenging at best and risky and undesirable at worst, for both international banks and pharmaceutical companies.

Patients in Iran are already affected by the current US sanctions. Iran’s oil sales in the international market have plummeted by 50% and are expected to decline further. The decline in oil revenue has had and will have increasingly serious implications for Iran, given that its economy is largely dependent on oil revenue.

As the budget for different sectors of the government tightens, the Iranian Ministry of Health is compelled to prioritize the acquisition of medications and medical supplies that benefit the largest patient populations. Thus, newer costlier medications with no economically viable substitutes are less likely to be obtained. Consequently, and predictably, the more vulnerable patients suffer the most: the ones with cancer, multiple sclerosis, hemophilia, rare medical conditions, and last but not the least, patients with mental illnesses.

Given the indirect toll on human wellbeing, economic sanctions can hence be regarded as a sugarcoated but full-fledged war with the caveat that people die not because of bombs and bullets, but rather as a result of a reduction in access to health care. The effects of international sanctions on Iran in 2012 was studied and published. We are again witnessing the deleterious effect of current sanctions causing a precipitous decline on Iran’s revenues, sharp devaluation of the Iranian currency, and increased widespread unemployment. As a result, and in sharp contrast to international human rights, in both direct and indirect ways, the US administration is illegally and inhumanly violating Iranian people’s access to standard health care.

Ordinary Iranian people are the ones who are most seriously suffering from the crippling US-imposed sanctions, which has created a grave burden on their sense of well-being and mental health. Added to the psychological burden that a patient and his or her family naturally endures while living with a serious medical condition is the psychological burden of anticipating and experiencing a reduction in access to acceptable standard medical care (be it high cost or unavailability of medications.)

We, a group of Iranian health professionals, are writing this letter to express our grave concern that US sanctions are affecting Iranian people’s physical and psychological health. Doubtful that the US administration is willing to remove these sanctions we are asking the international community to do whatever it can to protect the basic rights of Iranians.

[This petition is launching by @Psychiatryexpriences; Iranian Social network channel and has been written by Dr. Babak Roshanaei-Moghaddam, Iranian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst; @Psychiatryexpriences  ;]


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