A combination of an awful economy and tightening economic sanctions has meant scrambling to get medicines on the part of Iranian civilians, the BBC reports:
Iran’s worsening shortage of critical medicine is the result of the country’s dire economic situation, which analysts say is caused by a combination of the ever-tightening Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic, as well as by economic missteps there.
The US state department is quick to point out that export of medicine and other humanitarian goods are specifically exempted from the measures intended to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which the country says are solely peaceful but which Western powers suspect have military aims.
But the sanctions levied against Iranian banks, which are effectively cut off from the global financial system, have made it nigh impossible for Iranian companies to finance imports of whole drugs or raw ingredients, analysts say.
“There is not a proper channel through which they can pay, unless they send somebody to Pfizer with a suitcase full of cash,” says Muhammad Sahimi, an Iranian political analyst and engineering professor at the University of Southern California.
(Thanks to Jason Ditz for his blog post.)