Millions of lives are at risk in Iran because western economic sanctions are hitting the importing of medicines and hospital equipment, the country's top medical charity has warned.
Fatemeh Hashemi, head of the Charity Foundation for Special Diseases, a non-government organisation supporting six million patients in Iran, has complained about a serious shortage of medicines for a number of diseases such as haemophilia, multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme are not directly targeting hospitals but measures imposed on banks and trade restrictions have made life difficult for patients, according to Hashemi, the daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Two of her siblings are in prison on separate anti-state charges.
"More than anything else, we have a lack of medicines for patients suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis," Hashemi told the conservative website Tabnak. "Those with thalassaemia or in need of dialysis are facing difficulties too – all because of sanctions against banks or problems with transferring foreign currency."
Iran's central bank, the only official channel for Iranians to transfer money abroad, is a major target of the sanctions. Ordinary Iranians, including academics thereforehave no way of paying for services overseas, such as ... >>>
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