A group of UN experts warned on Tuesday that US sanctions on Iran are causing medical shortages in the country.
US sanctions technically have exemptions for medical supplies and other humanitarian goods. But many companies and banks stop doing business altogether with countries targeted by the US over fears of sanctions.
“Many banks and businesses, including pharmaceutical and medical companies around the world, over-comply with sanctions out of fear of potential penalties,” the UN experts said.
One example the experts cited was the fact that patients suffering from a rare skin disease, known as epidermolysis bullosa (EB), have been unable to access a type of bandage that can prevent life-threatening infections.
“This is only one of many examples sadly illustrating the plight of thousands of people, including children, caused by over-compliance with sanctions by third parties out of fear of being sanctioned in turn,” the experts said.
The medical shortages Iranians are facing were easily predictable since this is always the case in countries under heavy US sanctions. Towards the end of 2020, Iranians said US sanctions were choking Iran’s insulin supplies after the Trump administration blacklisted Iran’s entire financial sector.
During the Trump administration, US officials bragged about the damage the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” did to Iran’s economy. All major Trump-era sanctions are still in place, and the Biden administration refused to lift them during indirect negotiations with Iran that were held from April to June.