Meanwhile, the Iranian people continue to face many challenges as a result of sanctions. My uncle claims that the cost of electricity has easily doubled since the last time I visited over two years ago. Earlier this summer the inflation rate was estimated at 32%, but has since been adjusted to 45% as the economy continues to decline. Further, Iran’s foreign currency holdings are declining by about $15 billion USD annually.

Basic commodities like food, medicine, and clothes have become very expensive. Because foreign currency holdings are few and far between, the Iranian rial has been losing its value at unprecedented levels. The cost of a new imported car in Iran in Iranian currency costs about three times as much as it used to just 2 years ago as the Iranian currency continues to lose its value. I spoke to a doctor who said that medical equipment is becoming hard to access and very expensive. He says that a respirator is costing much more than it did because it has to be imported. He argues that these hardships have led to an increase in healthcare costs.The Iranian people, in other words, are the direct victims of the sanctions. One friend says many people struggle to eat whole meals, and some go without eating meat for months. About half the urban population lives below the poverty line.

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A View From Inside Iran: What Sanctions Do to Real People by Amir Salehzadeh

http://www.policymic.com/articles/60541/a-view-from-inside-iran-what-sanctions-do-to-real-people

SANCTIONS ON IRAN:

Let’s make a list of all the things sanctions are affecting—let me know what I’m missing:

1) Medicine shortages http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/14/sanctions-stop-medicines-reaching-sick-iranians …

2) Increased smog and pollution in Iran (and thus, a spike in deaths) http://ajammc.com/2013/01/24/seeing-through-the-haze-the-politics-of-reporting-sanctions-and-smog-in-tehran/ …

3) Cancellation of a number of flights from Europe to Iran  http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/01/14/iran-airline-flights-sanctions-europe/1833757/ …

4) Iranian students’ bank accounts abroad closed downhttp://www. tcdailyplanet.net/news/2013/01/24/professors-protest-closings-iranian-students-tcf-accounts-week …

5) Denial of admissions to Iranian students at European institutions http://iranianalliances.org/latestnews/368-czech …

6) Iranians denied the ability to buy an iPad after speaking Persian in an Apple Store in the US http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/22/12344611-iran-trade-sanctions-get-personal-in-apple-stores?lite …

7) MASSIVE INFLATION IN IRAN http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/23/sanctions-are-causing-inflation-in-iran-and-harmimg-its-economy.html …

8) Starving artists, literally. The price of paper has multiplied 5x since sanctions first started.  http://www.fairobserver.com/article/impact-sanctions-iranian-society-and-artists?page=2 …

«Вашим санкциям “труба”, г-н Рейган!». В 1980–1982 США ввели против СССР серию экономических санкций.

"Pipe to your sanctions, Mr. Reagan". (in Russian "pipe" and "failed" can be the same word). In 1980-1982 the United States imposed a series of economic sanctions against the Soviet Union.

[The Iran sanctions have] very much affected things like medical supplies because although medicine is supposed to be exempt from sanctions there’s no way for the Iranians to pay for the medicine because they can’t transfer funds back and forth because of the banking sanctions. I actually know someone who had cancer and unfortunately she’s passed away because she couldn’t get medicine anymore in Iran… But that’s true of other cancer patients in Iran who have not been able to get medicine, medical supplies and the kinds of drugs that they need.
— 

Iranian-American journalist Hooman Majd explains on today’s Fresh Air how the Iran sanctions have affected the lives of citizens

The IP gas pipeline, an ambitious plan initially introduced in 1989 and which would potentially be a big step in finally solving Pakistan’s long-standing energy crisis, looks to finally get underway this month. But not if the US gets its way.

The US State Department has issued a statement today insisting that building a pipeline to Iran from which to import natural gas was in and of itself a “sanctionable” offense, which the US considers wholly unacceptable.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the US intended to help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis, but that actually importing energy from a neighbor with a surplus was not the right way to go about it.

The US has repeatedly made such threats over the past several years, and has repeatedly promised energy aid if the plan was scrapped. That energy aid never seems to materialize however, and after stalling the plan for years, Pakistan seems set to go ahead with it.

The real victims of the escalating economic sanctions imposed on Iran are ordinary people and not the men of power accused of being in search of Nuclear Bombs. Although US and European Union claimed that the sanctions would not include Humanitarian Aid, a glance at the real immediate outcomes makes one wonder what these powers really mean by Humanitarianism.

And among people, children suffering from cancer and other so-­‐called incurable diseases have been as always the most innocent, vulnerable and thus heart-­‐breaking group first hit by the evil appearance of this vile crab of sanctions on our horizons due to the shortage of medicines and other medical supplies.

But the story doesn’t end there. The crab’s sharp claws grabbed other patients as well as children and adults suffering from Cancer.

In reality, with the dramatic free fall in the value of Iranian currency as the result of not only sanctions but harsh global bans against Iran’s Banking system and Cargo, the price of medicines has increased 3-­‐6 times. Thus, for the majority of people they are now like luxury goods, hardly if not impossible to afford.

In short, the overall outcome of the present situation is that the pharmaceutical companies can neither buy the ready-­‐made medicines nor their basic substances necessary for their production inside the country. Life-­‐promoting and life-­‐saving medicines ranging from a common drug like Tylenol, to prenatal Vitamins, and what is needed in treatment of cancerous cells are as scarcely found as spotting water in Hell. Import of Antibiotics (those which are not produced inside the country) has been decreased by 20.7%, which has resulted in raising the prices up to 308%.

To make it worse, the impact of the severe sanctions imposed under the pretense of hindering Iran to obtain nuclear armaments extends to the import of advanced medical technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and other vital medical machineries is making doctors, now totally dependent on them for diagnosis, almost paralyzed in helping and saving the sick. According to a member of The Mahak Society to support Children with cancer, one of the most active non-­‐governmental organizations in helping children suffering from cancer in Tehran: “The main problem facing Iran today is less related to non-­‐availability of medicines than to limitations imposed on international banking transfers and convertibility issues as a whole. There is no doubt that as long as financial sanctions are as severe as they are now, shortages of pharmaceutical products will undoubtedly continue.”

The Mahak Society, have been doing their best to deal with this shortage of necessary therapeutic drugs for Cancer during the past couple of years. The lack of these medicines for some of the children diagnosed with different types and stages of Cancers (from leukemia to skin and bone carcinomas) means a certain increase in death, which could otherwise be avoided. Shortage of medicines, their skyrocketing prices, together with the prolonged delays in receiving what they are entitled to receive on behalf of their young patients puts the lives of these children at a great risk.

Under these circumstances, what can the desperate mothers; fathers of these children and the medical staff treating them do other than to appeal to the higher spiritual world for humanitarian aid?