UANI Resources: Businesses, Nonprofits Remain Free To Transfer Medicine & Medical Supplies To Iran

Iran & Its Allies Continue Pushing Fictitious Narrative Against Maximum Pressure Campaign

(New York, N.Y.) – This week, Iran continued its efforts to exploit the ongoing pandemic for purely economic gain by doubling down on the false claim that U.S. sanctions are hindering the receipt of medicine and humanitarian goods. No U.S. sanctions prevent humanitarian items, including medicine and medical devices, from being sold or transferred to Iran or Iranian humanitarian groups. But the regime’s disinformation campaign is gaining currency thanks to allies like Russia and China, as well as the European Union and the United Nations echoing Tehran’s call for U.S. concessions.

Tehran’s bogus accusations are familiar to long-time observers who recall similar falsehoods being lobbed against the Obama administration and the European Union prior to the negotiations leading to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Left underreported, however, is the regime’s determination to continue spending billions funding terrorism through its proxies and partners. In recent days, Iran-backed militias have fired rockets at coalition forces in Iraq and threatened U.S. forces in the region; Israel has intercepted a Hezbollah drone flying in its airspace; and the Houthis have launched missiles at Saudi Arabia.

Existing U.S. sanctions are drafted to include broad discretionary authority, as well as humanitarian carve-outs, to ensure ordinary Iranian citizens are not targeted—only regime officials. In fact, the U.S. government has cooperated with Switzerland to establish the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement, which was launched and processed its first pilot transaction in January 2020. 

Whatever shortage of medicines may exist is caused by the Iranian regime’s corruption and neglect. The chief of staff to Iran’s president in the summer of 2019 announced that $1.12 billion in hard currency the regime allocated for importing medicine and essential goods had disappeared.

Further, Iranians, in large part, blame the regime’s massive economic mismanagement for the country’s poor economic performance. That’s why there has been a slow burn of protests since December 2017 throughout the country. Meanwhile, Iranian politicians routinely point the finger at each other. For example, Iran’s parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, has claimed that 80 percent of Iran’s economic problems stem from mismanagement. Senior officials within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have also alternatively blamed “the choice made by the people” for Iran’s economic malaise. By putting Iran’s leadership in the position of defending its corrupt behavior to the public, sanctions empower opposition leaders who promise an alternative to the status quo.

To read UANI’s resource: Iran Sanctions: Fact or Fiction, please click here.

To read UANI President David Ibsen’s Op-Ed: Sanctions Are Not The Enemy Of Iran’s Public Health As Coronavirus Grips – Its Regime Is, please click here.

To read UANI Policy Director Jason Brodsky’s Op-Ed: Iran Campaign For Sanctions Relief Seeks To Cover Up Negligence Over Coronavirus, please click here.