12/06/2019, 09.04
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Zarif attacks Europe (and US) for the embargo on medicines for Iran

The head of Tehran's diplomacy against countries that say they support the nuclear deal, but end up following the line of sanctions. For the Islamic Republic it is a "necessary and important" issue. Minister of Health: "very hard" year for medicines, drugs and medical equipment.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The nations that seem to (apparently) support the 2015 nuclear agreement, actually prevent the export of specific medicines for patients with serious diseases in Iran. The harsh indictment comes from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a usually moderate figure in gestures and declarations, who speaks of a "necessary and important" issue.

Some European nations, adds the head of Tehran's diplomacy, prevent "prevent a pharmaceutical company from exporting medicines for patients suffering from special diseases". In this regard he gave an example: "wound-dressing for the children suffering from butterfly disease can't be produced in all countries. Of course, Iran experienced good progress but it is being produced in low quantity. A few number of pharmaceutical companies can produce it," the minister stated.

A Swedish company, continues Zarif, which has long exported the dressings to Iran, "can no longer do so because of US sanctions and aggressive behavior" towards the Islamic Republic.

Behind the crisis in the supply of medicines - and other basic necessities - already denounced in the past, the decision by US President Donald Trump in May last year to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA). This heightened US-Iran tensions, triggering a serious economic crisis in the Mideast country.

I must remind the Europeans, continued the Foreign Minister, that it was a good move to join the Instex, a tool to promote trade with the Islamic Republic by circumventing US sanctions. So far it has been signed by Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Norway and Sweden. "However - concludes Zarif - while the Americans claim that medicines and humanitarian goods are not included in the sanctions, you Europeans should not favor the application of the embargo on medicines to Iran".

In a letter sent in the days of clashes by Iranian Minister of Health Saeed Namaki to the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), he said that US sanctions have seriously limited the importation of medicines. "We have been through a very hard year due to the sanctions and supply of drugs, medical equipment and treatment of patients, particularly the special and incurable patients, is an extraordinarily difficult job".

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