US Sanctions Affect Lebanon’s Import of Pharmaceuticals from Iran

Al-Aawsat – Lebanese Health Minister Jamil Jabak has said that Lebanon can no longer import pharmaceuticals from Iran after the US sanctions on Iran.

During a news conference he held on Friday to brief the public on his recent trip to Geneva where he attended the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly, the minister said US sanctions meant it was easier for Lebanon to import pharmaceuticals from Europe instead.

“If we decided to import the medicine from Iran, there will be no way to pay and do business,” he said.

Asked whether the standstill in Iranian medicine imports was a result of US pressure on his ministry, Jabak, who is affiliated with Hezbollah, replied that the issue concerned the Lebanese state as a whole and not just the health ministry.

“We belong to the Lebanese Republic and work for the Lebanese people,” Jabak said.

“We in the Health Ministry do not set public policy in the Lebanese state. The cabinet sets this policy. We are committed to the decision taken by government,” he added in response to a question on whether the ministry would distance itself from Iran.