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Great Satan US eases medical sanctions against Iran

3 November 2015 21:08



The US government has eased its sanctions regime against Iran, allowing a broad list of medical supplies for exports to the country.

In a statement, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it was revising restrictions imposed in 2012 on exports of basic medical supplies to Iran.

OFAC “is updating the List of Medical Supplies eligible for exportation or re-exportation to Iran under the general license of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR) to include additional items”, the statement said.

A net of sanctions imposed over years by successive US governments have impeded even trade of life-saving drugs for illnesses such as cancer.

While Western governments built waivers to ensure essential medicines get through, those measures clashed with blanket restrictions on banking and bans on “dual-use” chemicals which virtually hampered supplies.

Western sanctions led to dire shortages of life-saving medicines.

On Friday, Republican members of US Congress urged President Barack Obama to impose additional sanctions on Iran in breach of a landmark nuclear accord reached in July.

Last month, Obama signed an order directing his administration to take steps toward lifting sanctions on Iran in accordance with the nuclear accord.

The order marked “adoption day” which, US officials said, was a mere formality as no sanctions would be lifted immediately.

Full relief would come on “implementation day” when the US could confirm that Iran had met its commitments under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Obama said.

Iranian officials have repudiated the sanctions as illegal, designed to pressure the country for political reasons because its nuclear program represents nothing but peaceful intentions.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians with serious illnesses have been put at risk and some of them have lost their lives by the consequences of US and European sanctions.

At their worst, the sanctions led to dire shortages of life-saving medicines such as chemotherapy drugs for cancer and bloodclotting agents for haemophiliacs.

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