CNN reports on the destructive effect that U.S. sanctions are having on Iran’s health care system:

Because of sanctions, Iran’s health sector is struggling to keep up with soaring prices of medications and medical instruments, doctors tell CNN.

European banks, fearing secondary US penalties, are reluctant to do business with Iranian companies even those not blacklisted by the US. Medical companies have had to resort to paying intermediaries exorbitant sums to secure needed supplies, including imported medicines and medical instruments which have more than tripled in value during Iran’s rapidly dropping currency, health professionals explain.

“Sanctions is the first problem in our country and in our system. We can’t transfer the money and make the preparations for surgery. It’s a big problem for us,” says Dr. Mohammad Hassan Bani Asad, managing director of the Gandhi Hotel Hospital. “We have the procedures, but we don’t have the instruments. It is very difficult for patients and maybe leads to death of some patients.”

It is inevitable that the vulnerable and sick will be among the first to suffer most from an economic war against an entire country. The Trump administration hides behind the formal exemptions for humanitarian goods to deny responsibility for the harm they are doing, but they impose such severe restrictions on financial institutions and transactions that those exemptions are practically irrelevant. If an importer cannot pay for the goods because no bank will handle the payment, it doesn’t help him and his customers that the goods are technically permitted. The administration starves the people of basic necessities while congratulating itself on its supposed magnanimity. Meanwhile, ailing Iranians are being deprived of the medicine and treatment that they would be able to obtain were it not for the illegitimate reimposition of sanctions. This is something that our government is doing on purpose to a country of eighty million people, and it is doing it for no good reason.

It can’t be stressed enough that the reimposition of sanctions is unwarranted and unjust. These sanctions were lifted in exchange for Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, and Iran has been in compliance with the agreement from the beginning. Iran is being punished for doing what it said it would do, and the Iranian people are being subjected to collective punishment because of the arbitrary whim of our president.

The damage that the sanctions are causing to Iran’s economy and currency compound the problems created by the shortages of medicine and equipment:

Patients and their families are doubly affected by plummeting purchasing power across the country. It’s a situation, Emami says, that has made a lot of treatable cases lethal [bold mine-DL].

Economic warfare kills people, and the people that are most likely to die from it are the sick, the elderly, and the young. The Trump administration is waging this war on the Iranian people in a vain effort to bring about regime change, but all that they will achieve is to make millions of Iranians poorer and to kill many sick Iranians when they would have survived before the sanctions.

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