Iran’s deputy UN envoy has vehemently denounced the US’s unilateral sanctions against Iran and their role in preventing access to medicine by Iranian patients, including children, who face life-threatening diseases.
“Nothing could ever justify such horrific measures against people,” Zahra Ershadi said before the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
“Nothing could justify the death of a child who could simply not have a medical product due to UCMs,” she added.
The diplomat was referring by abbreviation to the unilateral coercive measures, another name for the sanctions, which the United States re-imposed against Iran in 2018.
The United States returned the sanctions after leaving a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and other countries.
On October 3, 2018, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), otherwise known as the World Court, issued an order that temporarily but unanimously required the US to remove any impediments on the importation of foodstuffs as well as medicines and medical devices to Iran.
It ordered Washington to ensure that the licenses and necessary authorizations are granted and that payments and other transfers of funds are not subject to any restriction as far as they relate to the goods and services in question.
The United States refused to implement the ICJ ruling.
The sanctions’ “deleterious and severe negative impacts on the health of people…are felt directly on a daily basis by innocent people who have lack of access to medicine, medical products, and vaccines resulting from such unlawful measures,” Ershadi reemphasized.
To just mention an instance of such impacts, the envoy referred to the situation caused by the economic bans for patients with epidermolysis bullosa.
The chronic and potentially deadly skin condition, also known as the butterfly disease, which also affects children, causes the skin to be fragile and to blister very easily.
“A certain medical products manufacturer stopped all exports [of the disease’s medicine] to the Islamic Republic of Iran as a result of UCMs in 2018,” Ershadi said.
She concluded her remarks by asserting, “Unilateral coercive measures violate human rights and unfortunately continue to inflict immeasurable harm on the health of people.”