In letter to WHO director general: Iranian physician calls for urgent removal of medical sanctions against Iran

MNA – An Iranian physician and senior media activist in a letter to Director General of the World Health Organization asked WHO for urgent action to lift medical sanctions against Iran.

According to Shafaqna, the full text of Dr. Abolfazl Fateh’s letter to WHO is as follows:

H. E. Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Director General of the World Health Organization

As you are aware COVID-19 has placed the world in a dangerous epidemic and all the forecasts indicate the very fast spread of the virus. As the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency on 31st January, it seems that we are only just dealing with the tip of the iceberg. News from Iran indicates that so far, tens, probably even hundreds of people have been infected with COVID-19.

Iran has an advanced healthcare capacity and system however, as you are aware, the country is under unprecedented and extreme sanctions put in place by the United States of America. Due to the harsh conditions and the spread of the population of 80 million in such a large territory, along with its borders; it is evident that they are short of the required resources and equipment for diagnosis, prevention and treatment, especially laboratory kits, masks N-95, protective gowns for medical staff, ambulances, specialised medicines, antiseptics and appropriate medical supplies, in addition there is also a need for the latest information on successful trials in combating this virus.

Health, hygiene and access to medical care are the fundamental rights of all the human beings regardless of race, religion, and nationality.

As an Iranian physician and senior media activist residing outside of Iran, I sincerely seek your urgent attention for the sanctions on providing healthcare support, drugs, medical laboratory kits and preventive equipment to be lifted immediately.

Iranians living outside the country are willing to send humanitarian support in such a difficult situation for the impacted population, however due to the sanctions, it is not possible to do so.

It must be brought to the attention of other global organisations not to overrule the healthcare rights through political considerations.

I firmly believe this is the request of a vast majority of Iranians living abroad.

Clearly, any delay in removing the sanctions on healthcare support will result in countless innocent and vulnerable people losing their lives.

It is our humane duty to do the right thing immediately and not to carry over the tragic consequences.

Humanity demands action today; otherwise, the vulnerable will pay the price.

I sincerely hope that you take the action needed to combat the sanctions on healthcare that Iran faces, and do not let health care become politicized and the political pressure take innocent lives.

Yours sincerely
Abolfazl Fateh
MD and PhD in media studies 24/03/2020