Medicines used to treat critical or rare illnesses are most likely to be affected as the sanctions and currency crisis hit profits at local pharmaceutical companies.
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Leila Koochaki's health has become collateral damage as the U.S. extends its economic offensive against Iran.On paper, U.S. sanctions permit Iranian purchases of humanitarian goods like medicines. To avoid accidentally triggering penalties, however, foreign drug companies and international banks are taking extra precautions even when dealing with permitted business. When the U.S. increased pressure on Iran on Nov. 5, it was sanctions on critical oil exports that dominated headlines.Doug Jacobson, a sanctions attorney at Jacobson Burton Kelley in Washington, said it's becoming difficult to find foreign banks willing to do even permitted business with Iran.Iran won't be able to import drugs at pre-sanctions levels if it can't pay for them.Until recently, four private banks facilitated nearly all of Iran's humanitarian trade: Parsian Bank, Middle East Bank, Saman Bank and Pasargad Bank.Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. has sought to curb Iran's influence in the Middle East, withdrawing in May from the 2015 nuclear deal.Iran's Health Ministry has vowed to help domestic drugmakers produce medicines equal to those sold by multinationals, and officials have cracked down on hoarding, which has exacerbated the situation.
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