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US economic sanctions restrict Iran's access to medical, health services: IRIMC

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An Iranian man works at a drugstore in Tehran on September 11, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Council (IRIMC) says illegal economic sanctions imposed by the United States against Tehran have negative impacts on the country's health sector, calling for an immediate and humanitarian solution to the issue.

The illegal US economic sanctions and restrictions in foreign trade have seriously affected Iran's access to health and medical services, medicine and medical essentials, IRIMC President Iradj Fazel and Chairperson of the Supreme Council Mohammad Reza Zafarqandi said in a Monday letter to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres.

They added that the US unilateral sanctions, which took effect after Washington's withdrawal from the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May had harmful impacts on Iran's health services.

All countries are duty-bound to respect and protect every individual's right to have access to medical services and to prevent any restriction in this regard, the senior Iranian medical officials said.

They called on the UN chief to adopt necessary strategies to solve the issue and prevent any deterioration of the situation in the future.

Earlier this month, the administration of US President Donald Trump announced the re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country's oil sales and crucial exports.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.

In a letter to the UN chief on November 10, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran Alireza Marandi said the United States had endangered the lives of many Iranian patients by imposing "unjust" food and medicine sanctions against Tehran.

"Despite the illegality of sanctioning food and medicine, the US government is preventing access to these vital resources and has therefore put in danger the lives of many patients from small children to the elderly who are in urgent need of medicine and medical equipment," Marandi said.

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