U.S. Sanctions Blocking Access to Needed Medicine; Myth or Truth

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Iran Info 24– The Reuters’ correspondent Parisa Hafezi, who dedicatedly writes in favor of Iran’s regime as well as the other Khomeinist’s minions, along with her co-writer Jonathan Saul released an odd piece to play into a hoax. Iran’s regime apologists reported that “More than 20 ships carrying around one million tonnes of grain are stuck outside Iranian ports as U.S. sanctions create payment problems and hamper the country’s efforts to import vital commodities, sources directly involved in the trade said.”

Although, Tasnim News denied the Reuters’ Fake News, citing the fact that the warehousing capacity has been completed; the two reporters took the opportunity to forge a reason that would make Iran’s dictatorial regime look like the victim of the sanctions that is bringing the whole nation down. Reuters has been known to give misleading information in critical national issues worldwide, their news reports even during the civil unrest in Nepal did not give the real picture, the stories were different from ground realities as they misinterpreted ground realities and used data to create a false perception.

The regime’s propagandists once again tried shedding crocodile tears on behalf of the Iranian citizens to hoax people around the world.

What the Story Is!

U.S. sanctions do not hurt Iranians to accessing their needed commodities as medicine as no nation ever targeted in this case, even “Sanctions Against Iraq” in the 90s. The Oil-for-Food Programme, which was established by the U.N. in 1995 to allow Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein to sell oil on the world market in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs for ordinary Iraqi citizens without allowing the Socialist Ba’ath administration to boost its military capabilities.

Despite all efforts by the international community, the program failed to resolve the food and drug crisis in the country, due to corruption in the Iraqi government.

Now, we are facing the same situation in Iran.

Economical pressure on people is due to mismanagement, not sanctions, admitted the conservative member of Parliamentary Program and Budget Committee, Hossein-Ali Haji-Deligani.

People have been squashed under economic pressure, and now you should avoid making the excuse of sanctions, as more than 80 percent of internal problems in Iran, are caused by mismanagement, said another MP, Mohsen Biglari, addressing Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani at the open session of parliament.

Moreover, administrative corruption has to be mentioned as another problem in Iran as same as what ruined the Iraqi Oil-for-Food Programme. Iran suffers from a rare disaster; officials call it “Reverse Smuggling.” Due to the different rates of exchange between the U.S. Dollar and Iran’s Rial, it is a very profitable business for medicine smugglers to smuggle the most needed and vital medicines abroad. The ones who used to import medicine illegally, have taken the reverse path, Persian DW quoted Iran’s semi-official media.

The price of medicine in Iran is low. The cheapness of medicine in Iran has made a reverse trafficking of the strategic and vital commodity to be smuggled to neighboring countries, Salamat News quoted the spokesperson of Iran’s Food And Drug Administration.

Self-seeker traders smuggle medicine in luggage through border towns and crossing borders of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to Tabnak News. Most of the dealers are affiliated with FTO-designated IRGC.

In early October, Iran’s Red Crescent exported 160 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies to Iraq. 

The Reuters report on medicine’s sanctions is a fairy tale.

“Our actions today are targeted at the regime, not the people of Iran, who have suffered grievously under this regime. It’s why we have and will maintain many humanitarian exemptions to our sanctions including food, agriculture commodities, medicine, and medical devices”, emphasized Heather Nauert, the former U.S. Department of State Spokesperson.

Interestingly, contrary to the Fake News, the Reuters’ Paris Bureau released a report in September that a French diplomat pointed “No trade mechanism until Iran passes terrorism financing laws.”

Now, the question is how the Islamic Republic of Iran can fund Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestinian Hamas, Yemeni Houthis, and the other proxies across the Middle East, but it fails to import the necessary commodities?

The regime can quickly provide medicine, and pay the bill through delivering a full of cash luggage as well as it hands over money to its proxies. Or it can pay the amount through banks like Lebanon’s Jamal Trust Bank SAL, instead of transactions with terrorist groups.

Despite systematic corruption and smuggling medicine from Iran to other countries by individuals who have governmental influences, there is a new reason for the shortage of medicines in Iran, the “Arbaeen ceremony”. 

Arbaeen pilgrimage, also known as Arbaeen trek, a distinctively Shia spiritual exercise, which is an epic journey gathering Shias from various nationalities altogether walking towards the holy shrine of Imam Hussein, commemorating the 40th day of his martyrdom in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD.

To show its influence in Iraq, it has been the fifth year that  Iran’s regime holds such ceremony and send its advocates and forcing the people who are working for the government to participate in such a ceremony to show the power of Shia to Arab countries which are mostly Sunny majorities.   

According to internal reports, this year “The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) will dispatch 2,000 health practitioners to Iraq to offer medical treatment and health care services to Arbaeen Pilgrims”, Mohammad Taghi Helisaz, an official with the IRCS, said on September 13, 2019.  

“The IRCS team will be accompanied by medical specialists, including orthopedists, cardiologists, gynecologists, pediatricians, neurologists, and psychiatrists. In Addition, some 160 tonnes of medications and medical equipment will be dispatched to Karbala city in central Iraq, along with 8 ambulance buses and 40 ambulances,” Mr. Helisaz continued. 

Iran’s regime has claimed multiple times that the U.S. sanctions are shortening its access to medicines and medical care, such an assertion which has been repeated by regime’s apologist in chief Mohammad Javad Zarif. But the question is, which country with a shortage of medicine, exporting nearly 200 tons of it to another country for some ceremony which only provokes Iran’s enemies?

Reported by Iran Info 24 editorial board.