US and international sanctions against Iran don’t include sanctions on food or medication, which are both explicitly exempted. At least that’s the theory.
In practice, the sanctions have ground international commerce to a halt, as the Obama Administration has turned Iranian banks into global pariahs and made it impossible for Iranian companies to buy these “exempted” goods.
Though Iran is a fairly large food producer, the lack of access to international trade is devastating to the nation’s medical community, and in particular to patients whose medicines are either produced abroad or are produced domestically with chemicals previously imported overseas.
Patients with chronic diseases like hemophilia or diabetes are at particular risk, as even a temporary lack of drugs could mean a death sentence. Iran’s Hemophilia Society has issued an open letter warning that the shortages are putting a large number of lives at risk. With the sanctions expected to force the closure of a number of domestic drug factories in the next few months, the problem could get a lot bigger soon.
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