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Human Rights Watch Issues New Report on the Devastating Impact of Sanctions on Healthcare in Iran

On October 29, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a new, 47-page report titled “‘Maximum Pressure’: US Economic Sanctions Harm Iranians’ Right to Health.”

The report finds that the Trump Administration’s exceedingly broad sanctions on Iran have dramatically impaired the country’s ability to finance humanitarian imports, such as medicines. The report explains that this impediment is causing serious hardships for ordinary Iranians and threatening their right to health. HRW encourages the Trump Administration to take immediate steps to ensure that a viable channel exists for trade in humanitarian goods with Iran.

Specifically, the report outlines how the broad financial restrictions on Iran, coupled with increasingly aggressive rhetoric from United States officials, have radically slashed the ability of Iranian entities to finance humanitarian imports, including vital medicines and medical equipment. Although there are exemptions for humanitarian imports in the U.S. sanctions regime on Iran, HRW concluded that in reality, these exemptions have failed to offset the strong reluctance of US and European companies and banks to risk incurring sanctions and legal action. The result has been to deny Iranians access to essential medicines and to impair their right to health. HRW urges that under international law, the U.S. should monitor the impact of its sanctions on Iranians’ rights and address any violations sanctions cause.

Read HRW’s full article discussing the report. The report is available here.

by USIRCC Staff