Iranian patients are now receiving critical medicine through a recently available humanitarian channel.
In October, the United States announced that it had developed a framework under which foreign governments and foreign financial institutions can establish a payment mechanism for legitimate humanitarian exports to Iran, but one that will not allow any transfer of funds to the regime.
“The United States is determined to ensure the Iranian people have access to food, lifesaving medicines, and other humanitarian goods,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Along with its maximum pressure campaign, including sanctions against the regime, the Treasury Department explained, “The United States has a consistent policy of maintaining broad exceptions and authorizations allowing for the sale of food, medicine, medical devices and agricultural products to Iran.” The new humanitarian channel in Switzerland is an effort to further ease trade in such commodities for the benefit of the Iranian people.
At a recent press briefing, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook announced that the first transactions under the new framework have been completed – the sale and delivery of cancer and transplants drugs to Iran:
“It’s a very good thing that Iranian cancer and transplant patients are now receiving critical treatments through this new channel. This channel applies strict due diligence measure to avoid misuse by the Iranian regime.”
As Special Representative Hook notes, strict measures are required because the regime is known for seizing resources for itself:
“The Iranian regime has a history of using front companies disguised as humanitarian organizations and then when food or medicine or medical devices are then processed, the regime diverts them and then uses them for the regime elite, medicines for the regime elite, or they sell them on the black market to raise revenue for the government. They don’t make their way to the Iranian people.”
“So we have created a very high standard of due diligence,” said Special Representative Hook. “But we have now already had one company that has met that, and the cancer drugs and the transplant drugs have already been delivered and the transaction has been processed…It’s the first one,” he declared. ”There will be more to come.”