AT a time
when we, Iranians, normally celebrate Nowruz, our New Year concurrent with the
arrival of spring, the spread of coronavirus in the world has reached an
alarming pandemic level, jeopardising health security of most countries and
pushing the world economy towards a severe recession. In such circumstances, we
are all faced with multiple and historic challenges and Iran, hit hard by the
coronavirus, is now learning how to better cope with it.
utmost transparency after identifying the first person infected by the virus,
began confronting it and as acknowledged by the WHO representative, its
government has made tremendous progress in combating and containing Covid-19 —
stressing that no country can tackle this huge, dangerous crisis alone —
despite having many difficulties to access international financial markets and
meeting its various needs.
news is that Iran enjoys one of the strongest healthcare systems in the region
and has made notable achievements in the field of fighting coronavirus as the
Iranian knowledge-based company affiliated with the Vice Presidency for Science
and Technology has synthesised a pharmaceutical composition that can cure
pulmonary dysfunction in infected patients.
successful tests in virology laboratories, the pharmaceutical composition has
now yielded successful results in healing the patients in clinical trials.
fake news on Iran’s response projected by western media, some UN officials such
as Richard Brennan, the Regional Emergency Director of the WHO, Eastern
Mediterranean Region, strongly believes that Iran’s experience is a role model
in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
these efforts and achievements, it is obvious that Iran is under unilateral
sanctions of the US for decades which are exacerbating the adverse impacts of
the coronavirus outbreak upon the nation in the form of severe shortage of
medical requirements, access to adequate funds and the possibility to pay for
the priority items through the banking system.
health sector, although among the most resilient in the region, has been
consequently affected, and all measures of prevention, diagnosis and treatment
are directly and indirectly hampered, resulting in falling short in combating
the crisis. Lack of medical, pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment such as
protective gowns and necessary medication has scaled up the burdens of the
outbreak and the number of fatalities.
relief efforts by the WHO and other international humanitarian organisations
and dispatching supplies and medical necessities, the speed of the outbreak and
the detrimental effects of sanctions have resulted in reduced access to
life-saving medicines and equipment, adding to the health sector’s pre-existing
requirements for other difficult health situations.
hypocritical manner, the US administration has claimed that humanitarian
supplies, including food and medicine, are exempt from anti-Iran sanctions, but
banning Iranian banks to access SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank
Financial Telecommunication) for fund transfer and clear threats against
several foreign banks have deterred them from doing any business with Tehran,
making that aspiration nothing but a mirage.
contradictory move, the US, which had announced a new round of sanctions
against Iran as part of its so-called ‘maximum pressure’ campaign, recently
said it had formally told Iran of Washington’s willingness to assist in unspecified
ways through a message sent via Switzerland, which represents US interests in
after 60 years, and for the first time, Iran has applied for a $5 billion loan
from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fight this epidemic. Yet, even if
it gets the loan, the Iranian Government won’t be able to procure much-needed
medical supplies since the sanctions make banking transactions required to
secure even medical supplies and humanitarian goods virtually impossible.
sanctions also hamper Iran’s efforts as part of the global actions to tackle
this crisis. Iran does not count on the US for help in its battle against the
coronavirus because it has no trust in Washington’s alleged offer of
assistance, but it is expected that the international community must be obliged
to stand against the sanctions that are hurting millions of Iranians who have
been paying a high price, particularly during the past days and weeks, because
of the ongoing health-related restrictions against the country.
community must anticipate possible impacts of sanctions on humanitarian aid and
move to prevent further disasters from happening. The global health community
should regard these sanctions as war crimes and seek accountability from those
who impose them.
context, the great Iranian poet, Saadi, reminds us: Human beings are members of
a whole; in creation of one essence and soul; If one member is afflicted with
pain, other members uneasy will remain; If you have no sympathy for human pain,
the name of human you cannot retain.
Chegeni is Ambassador of Iran
Headline: Iran fighting a two-front battle against Covid
Source: The Tribune India