TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani mentioned Wednesday that U.S. sanctions are making it tough for Iran to buy medication and well being provides from overseas, together with COVID-19 vaccines wanted to include the worst outbreak within the Middle East.
President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s banking sector and its important oil and fuel trade since unilaterally withdrawing the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear cope with world powers in 2018.
While the United States insists that medicines and humanitarian items are exempt from sanctions, restrictions on commerce have already made many banks and corporations internationally hesitant to do enterprise with Iran, fearing punitive measures from Washington. The nation can also be minimize off from the worldwide banking system, making it tough to switch funds.
“Our folks ought to know that for any motion we plan to hold out for importing medication, vaccines and tools, we must always curse Trump 100 occasions,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
He said even simple transactions to purchase medicine from other countries had become extremely difficult and that it can take “weeks” to transfer funds.
Rouhani said authorities are nevertheless doing what they can to buy vaccines from abroad, hoping to deliver them to high-risk individuals as soon as possible.
Last week, Iran said it is working on its own vaccine, with testing on human patients expected to begin next month. It plans to buy 20 million vaccine doses from abroad, for a population of more than 80 million people.
Iran has reported more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus out of more than a million confirmed cases — the worst outbreak in the Middle East.
Authorities have been reluctant to impose the kind of lockdown measures seen elsewhere in the region, partly because of concerns it would further exacerbate an already dire economic crisis. The sanctions have contributed to a plunge in the country’s currency in recent years that has caused the price of basic goods to soar and wiped out many Iranians’ life savings.
In a separate development, Iran’s foreign ministry on Wednesday imposed sanctions on the U.S. ambassador to Yemen, Christopher Henzel, because of his alleged help “in organizing, providing financial and arms support” to the Saudi-led coalition waging battle in Yemen towards the nation’s Houthi rebels.
Under the measure, which is especially symbolic, Henzel could be denied an Iranian visa, ought to he ever apply for one. He can also be barred from holding any accounts in Iranian banks and monetary establishments and having monetary transactions with Iranian entities.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration mentioned it imposed sanctions on Iran’s envoy to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, Hasan Irlu, and the Iranian Al-Mustafa International University for alleged recruiting fighters for the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard to foment instability in Yemen and in Syria.
Iran and the U.S. assist reverse sides in Yemen’s battle. In August, Iran imposed related symbolic sanctions on Richard Goldberg, a hawkish former professional with the White House National Security Council. And in 2017, Iran sanctioned 15 American firms over their alleged assist for Israel, terrorism and repression within the area.