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EghtesadOnline: Two high-ranking members of the Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Council (IRIMC) have formally called on the United Nations to help eliminate US restrictions against the supply of medicines and medical services to Iran.

IRIMC Director General Iraj Fazel and the head of the organization's high council, Mohammad Reza Zafarqandi, signed a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"As senior directors of IRIMC, we inform you of the detrimental effects of the illegal and unilateral economic sanctions of the United States of America, reimposed after the country withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on May 8, 2018, on Iran's health sector," the missive reads, as published on the official IRIMC website.

The two officials pointed out that access to medical services is a major right and among the most fundamental human rights that must be accessible for all, according to Financial Tribune.

"Therefore, all countries are obligated to respect and protect this right," they said, adding that all countries must strive to uphold this right for all citizens of the world.

All countries must refrain from creating any limitations to people's access to medical and health services, they said.

"Illegal US economic sanctions and limited international trade have seriously affected our ability to access health and mental services, medicine and medical needs," the letter reads.

The two officials then point out that they wish to direct the attention of the top UN official to the serious issues facing the Iranian people in terms of health and medicine, directly caused by US sanctions.

They sought an immediate and humanitarian response" to help Iran, calling on Guterres to come up with solutions to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Humanitarian trade, including medicines, is technically exempt from sanctions. However, the second tranche of US sanctions reimposed against Iran from Nov. 5 heavily target the country's banking system among other things. 

Secondary sanctions on almost all banks in Iran, that must act as agents for facilitating humanitarian trade, imply that most foreign entities will refrain from working with them, effectively hampering humanitarian trade.

Despite growing fears in recent months that Iran's humanitarian trade will be hit by banking problems, the US sanctioned Parsian Bank in October. The bank is a key conduit of humanitarian trade in Iran.


Un Iran United Nations US sanctions IRIMC Medical Supplies Medical Council