Many families across the country are greatly affected by this social crisis, especially those that have terminal or rare illnesses. It goes without saying that many people are enduring intolerable pain and suffering, whilst others have suffered irreversible damage or even died – especially those on very low incomes.
In its report on the crisis, the main opposition to the Iranian regime – the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has investigated the issue and concluded that institutional theft is the reason for the crisis.
Officials in Iran have been claiming that the vast majority of medications in Iran are produced domestically with only a very small percentage being imported from abroad. The Health Minister said a few months ago that only 3% is imported – the rest is produced domestically.
The Iranian regime has, however, said that the medication crisis is a direct result of sanctions imposed on Iran. This is completely false because the medication has always been exempt from sanctions and imports never blocked.
Instead, what is happening is that the generous portion of the budget that is allocated to pharmaceutical imports and production is plundered. For example, the Health Minister said earlier this year that a sum of $1.3 billion for medical equipment has gone out, but he doesn’t know where to.
The NCRI said that the Health Ministry set up a computer system that only a few individuals could access. Furthermore, in June last year, the regime set an oddly low exchange rate of 4,200 tomans to the USD for purchasing medicine and other commodities. Then it was discovered that others were using the exchange rate for cleaning equipment – making more than 250% profit. Bigger schemes than this have also been uncovered.
Corruption within the regime is not only damaging the economy but hurting the people of Iran.
At the end of last year, it was announced that 500 million euros were being taken from national funds to deal with the medical crisis. Two months later, it became clear that half of the money had gone missing and will therefore not be allocated to the crisis at all.
The NCRI reminds us that the Iranian regime is playing with the lives of the people. It is endangering people’s lives to fill their own pockets. Personal greed is favored. Destructive policies in this domain are worsening the crisis.
Instead of trying to remedy the situation, or at least taking steps to stop it getting worse, the regime is dedicating resources and funds to terrorist groups across the region as well as warmongering activities and the development of weapons of mass destruction.
The people of Iran deserve better than a regime that leaves them with no option but to sell their kidneys and organs just to be able to afford medication for themselves or their loved ones. The Iranian regime is responsible for a major violation of the fundamental human right of access to medication.