The Iranian regime continues to hammer out its well-oiled (and well-funded – maybe this money could be better spent on medicine?) PR campaign against the sanctions. Meanwhile, the regime’s friends and unofficial spokespeople (see previous blog) push the message through both in Europe and the US. The campaign has taken to the internet with genuinely moving ‘home-made’ movies being posted to the YouTube (yes, how ironic that the Iranian regime uses YouTube, a platform they blocked after the democracy protests of 2009).
Finally though, some leading journalists are coming to understand some of the complexities behind the sanctions, and more importantly, just who is to blame.
Last month we penned a piece about ‘letting the regime off the hook’ on this very issue. Reuters’ Marc George and Zahra Hosseinian recently highlighted that “Health officials [in Iran] have accused the government of compounding the shortages by failing to provide billions of dollars of vital funds earmarked for drugs and medical supplies.”
Mehr News tells us that only in the last few weeks the government in Iran has started to take this matter remotely seriously:
“An official with the health ministry said that the ministry has just started importing $130 million worth of urgently needed medicine.”
While, my Farsi speaking buddy pointed out the importance of this article, which emphasizes the extent to which perfumes, toiletries and dog food are being prioritized by the government… instead of medicine!
Causality here is crucial. The officials responsible for creating the problem are precisely the elements who possess the ability to fix it. Indeed, it has been widely reported that in the recent past, the Iranian regime has allocated “medicine purchase” foreign currency to the import of luxury goods, including luxury cars.
There still are not enough journalists or commentators writing about the disgraceful human rights situation in Iran. Credit must go to Baroness Turner for this detailed piece in the Daily Mail. She notes:
“The use of public executions is a clear tactic to terrorise the domestic population, and the arbitrary judicial process applied to political prisoners is a clear indication of the regime’s desperation to maintain a climate of fear and repression in Iran. A UN report on Iranian executions by a special rapporteur on the human rights, situation in Iran, stated: ‘A large number of those sentenced to death were convicted in the absence of fair trial standards.’”
She finished with a plea:
“For those who spend their days and nights in a prison cell, their only hope is that their cries for freedom reach the ears of the international community.”
It is the responsibility of the free and fair, open media around the world, to focus on the real human-rights crisis in Iran.
As for the medicine; the Iranian regime continues to misplace funds, mismanage the economy and prioritize battling with the IAEA over feeding its own people.