Iranian Americans Sound the Alarm on the Hurtful Impact of U.S. Sanctions on Ordinary Iranians

In publications across the country, Iranian Americans are joining increasing calls for diplomacy and dialogue between the United States and Iran. A main driver for this majority sentiment is the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Iran, where the weight of U.S. sanctions are borne by the average, innocent civilian person. In a country where 95% of the population receives government-funded healthcare, attempting to suffocate Iran’s government by starving its economy and announcing harsh penalties for dealing with Iran has meant that access to international medicines have dried up. Young children in need of sophisticated, non-generic cancer medications are going untreated. Below, we sample a few recent headlines shedding light on this critical scenario.

In this article, Mina Shahinfar describes her experience witnessing Iran under sanctions, and explains, “[e]conomic sanctions are a form of warfare on people who are just trying to make ends meet.”

A Newsweek article draws on the trauma of war and the harrowing experiences of the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s to advocate for peaceful resolutions to the impasse with Iran.

In July, CNN reported that a small group of Iranian Americans turned to the legal system for recourse and justice for their loved ones. The families filed their lawsuit in the Central District of Southern California, and it depicts a sad picture of fractured relationships and heartbroken families. One of the more frequent grievances emerging under the Trump Era immigration policy has been the failure to grant waivers or exceptions to the travel ban.

Also this month in Foreign Policy, Abbas Kebriaeezadeh, a professor of pharmacology at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, pens a piece straightforwardly explaining the grim reality facing medical patients in Iran:


“What may seem like sterile banking sanctions are truly much more dangerous. These sanctions disrupt the access of the Iranian public—especially the poor, the elderly, children, women, and patients suffering from chronic diseases—to the medications they require. Medicines become more expensive and of worse quality. An unreliable supply chain leads to incomplete treatment of diseases and their becoming chronic. The crisis deepens when the slowdown in domestic production increases the country’s need to import drugs. All this is happening against the backdrop of the Iranian government’s strained resources as it is forced to import medicines at a higher price tag in those instances when a banking channel is available.”

by USIRCC Staff

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