By Jubin Katiraie
Medical sanctions imposed on Iran by the “Great Satan” is one of the prophecies that have been exaggerated by the Iranian government and its leaders in recent years, linking the deaths of Iranian citizens to an alleged ban by the United States on the import of medical drugs to Iran.
Iran’s government has sought to turn public opinion against the U.S. as a supposed enemy. Iranian officials try to hide their incompetence and looting of public funds dedicated to importing drugs.
In November 2019, state media affiliated with both governmental factions caused a storm about the death of 15 children with an AB disease and because of sanctions on Mepilex and said the cause of the deaths was the sanctions.
Previously, this scenario had been repeatedly applied to patients with other diseases. But as time goes on, other issues emerge from the backdrop of “drug shortages due to sanctions.”
Money for importing drugs used elsewhere
Mehdi Mirashrafi, the head of the government’s customs office, said on 11 December, “The government’s dollar rate has been allocated for chemotherapy drugs, but the funds were used for importing dry ice and nutrients instead.”
Drug importers are also mobile and car importers!
Mirashrafi confessed in another part of his remarks that, “these people are importing mobiles, cars, and drugs at the same time.”
This is while this person, regarding depot vehicles in special economic zones and other non-customs areas of the country, said in May 2019: “According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers, about 3,300 of 13,000 imported cars will be released from customs if their funds are provided by the banking system.”
According to Mirasharafi, the rest of the vehicles, the 9,700 others, which often included luxury and expensive cars, were out of the banking system.
He added about these cars: “The rest of these cars, whose funds have been secured outside the banking system, must either be returned overseas within the legal deadline or will be abandoned and confiscated.”
Mirashrafi only referred to imported cars coming in from customs, while a much larger portion of these cars is not under the control of the country’s customs system at all. “The reason for the silence of customs is that 90% of imported goods are in special economic zones that are outside the customs territory, and we cannot control it,” Mirasharafi said about these cars.
Prior to Mirasharraf’s remarks, the subject of a verbal dispute between a member of the parliament from Saravan Mohamad Baset Derhazi with a customs officer Mehrdad Hajib at the customs office in December 2018, for the illegal release of imported cars, made headlines on social media.
The budget for importing medicines is spent on buying houses in Turkey and Canada
Ahmad Amirabadi, a parliament member from Qom, announced on 1 December, that $18 billion for drug imports has vanished from the country and has been spent on buying houses in Turkey and Canada.
Amirabadi said: “$18 billion was paid to some people with the state currency rate of 4200 tomans (for each $1 US), to bring medicine for the people from abroad. They took it to Turkey and Canada and bought houses and brought no medicine.”
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 22, 2019
It seems that the Iranian government that has targeted the wealth of the Iranian people, needs to make a forged scenario for it. In this scenario, the effect of international sanctions should be magnified first, and some rumormongers lie about the sanctions to arouse people’s feelings against the supposed “enemy”, then they spend the country’s money which is for importing medicine on luxury goods for government officials, in the European and American countries, and buying cars and houses, or save it in private bank accounts outside the country.