The right to health and access to medical treatment and medication -- one of the fundamental human rights anywhere in the world -- is being denied to ordinary Iranians.
4 February 2013
The Iranian Mothers for Peace forum -- which has no political affiliation, and campaigns in Iran against any form of violence, poverty, and oppression -- has sent an open letter to Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, and Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Heath Organization, to alert the responsible world bodies and human rights organizations to the critical shortage of vital medication due to the US/EU-led sanctions on Iran and their deadly impact on the lives and health of the Iranian population.
Haemophiliac Iranian boy, Manouchehr Esmaili-Liousi, died after sanctions stopped him getting the medecine he needed.
26 January 2013
Dr. Margaret Chan
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Dear Dr. Margaret Chan
As you know, the illegal and inhumane actions led by the US and the EU, targeting the country and the population of Iran, with the stated intention to put pressure on the government of Iran, have intensified in the past two years and increasingly harsher sanctions are imposed almost on a monthly basis.
The regulations governing these inhumane and arbitrary sanctions are executed with such strict inflexibility that Iran is now excluded from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) and the sanctions on banking transactions are preventing Iran from even purchasing its needed medical supplies and instruments.
On the other hand, to avoid suspicion for dealing with Iran, the European banks are fearful not to engage in any kind of financial transactions with Iran and, therefore, in practice, refuse any transfer of payment for medical and health-related items and raw materials needed for the production of domestic pharmaceutical drugs, even payment for well-recognized drugs for the treatment of Special Diseases, which are not of dual use.
Are you aware that while American and European soldiers' lives in Afghanistan are being saved by Iranian anti-snake venom potions and medication, Iranian hemophilic children, cancer patients, and those suffering diabetes, under the pretext of the execution of 'smart sanctions', are being deprived of their lifeline medication and face death or irreversible disability?
We ask you: What could possibly be the intended target of the wealthy and powerful US and European statesmen's 'targeted' and 'smart' sanctions but to destroy the physical and psychological health of the population through the increase of disease and disability?
We respectfully request from you and from all the relevant international bodies, specially, the World Health Organization and human rights organizations, to act according to their humanitarian and legal responsibilities, and demand the American and European countries leading sanctions on Iran to urgently create the necessary mechanism for opening financial transactions and letters of credit to facilitate the purchase of medicine for Iranian patients.
The right to health and access to medical treatment and medication is one of the fundamental human rights anywhere in the world. Please do not allow the killing of our sick children, beloved families, and fellow Iranians from the lack of medicine, caught in instrumental policies of coercion and power.
Iranian Mothers for Peace
Farid Marjai is a contributor to Reformist newspapers in Iran. Mehrnaz Shahabi is an anti-war activist and independent researcher.