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Iran Pushing Underdog Angle, Warning Sanctions Endangering Hospital Patients

Refugees from Saturday's quake in Iran have complained of inadequate rescue efforts.

Refugees from Saturday's quake in Iran have complained of inadequate rescue efforts.

In its war against the West and Israel, Iran has apparently given up its attempt to portray itself as being unaffected by the sanctions against its economy and, taking a page out of the Palestinian playbook, is now switching to the opposite approach, pushing the suffering of individual Iranians under the cruel sanctions.

For instance, earlier in August, Deputy Iranian Health Minister Mostafa Qaneyee told the Fars news agency: “The foreign states have threatened us that they won’t sell us laboratory kits” but the Pasteur Institute of Iran has managed to produce the blood kits needed for the country and it will achieve the Euro Standard in the near future.”

And only last Friday, at Tehran University Campus prayer service, Prayer Leader Hojjatoleslam Kazzem Sediqi played down effectiveness of the economic sanctions imposed by the West against Iran, saying that such pressures are nothing new to the Iranian nation.

Sediqi pointed to the economic sanctions and restriction on Iran during the eight-year Iraqi imposed war on Iran in the 1980s, and stated, “Sanctions are not effective and the eight years of the Sacred Defense was an instance of the same fact, when our nation faced the toughest pressures and sanctions.”

But now, according to the Mehr News agency, the Iranian hemophilia society has sent a letter to the president of the World Federation of Hemophilia and the president of the World Health Organization on July 28, warning about the negative effect of sanctions on the health of hemophiliacs in Iran.

“As you are aware, hemophiliacs and other patients suffering from serious blood coagulation disorders need to regularly take medicines and receive blood products imported from the United States and European countries. In the event of any disruption in the supply and purchase of the necessary and vital medicines,” many patients may become paralyzed or may die, part of the letter said.

It added, “Unfortunately, extensive sanctions against the Iranian government and nation by the European Union and the United States—despite the fact that in official documents of these countries, the sanctions do not include a ban on the supply of medicines—have practically made it difficult for patients to purchase and access to medicines. The measure has also seriously endangered the lives of many patients, particularly children, suffering from special diseases.”

The Iranian hemophilia society also called on the World Federation of Hemophilia and the World Health Organization to condemn the disruption in the supply of medicines to patients in Iran and take the measures necessary to prevent a “humanitarian crisis” from occurring in Iran.

The real effect of the sanctions may be measured by Tehran’s lackluster response to the needs of the victims of Saturday’s earthquake.

As AFP reported, despite the fact that relief workers were quick to get to the damaged zone and set up rescue operations and aid handouts, survivors said they had expected more from the authorities.

“We spent the whole night outside in the cold until the Red Crescent arrived at 4:00 am and gave us bread and two tents and blankets,” one man in his 30s who asked not to be identified told AFP.

The faces of other survivors reflected the same mix of disappointment, exhaustion and despair, according to the same report.

Of course, for all that to change practically overnight, all Tehran has to do is stop its nuclear project and open up its facilities to international inspectors. That’s another spot where Iran’s and the Hamas playbooks converge: they will point an accusing finger at the countries that blockade them, omitting only the reason why they’d been blockaded in the first place.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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