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News code: 28819
Published Date: Saturday 28 December 2019 - 11:02:59
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The girl that got Iran and US ambassadors back together

The girl that got Iran and US ambassadors back together
IRAN  - Ava was just two years old and her very short life was full of pain and suffering. Being born with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare genetic condition that results in easy blistering of the skin and mucous membranes, she was never able to play with others or experience new things like little girls do.

To add to her suffering, a president took the Oval Office that economic sanctions was his administration's foreign-policy weapon of choice. Trump's "maximum pressure campaigns" against US adversaries, from China to Iran to Venezuela, hit innocent people like Ava.

 

How Sanctions Kill the Innocents
Ava means "voice" in Farsi, but her voice was not heard as of 15 other EB children who were literally killed by US sanctions. The trade of humanitarian goods, such as food, medicine and medical devices, is said to be allowed by the US, yet European companies refuse to do business with Iran, fearing secondary American sanctions.

 

Ava's father told Iran Newspaper that she was diagnosed with Kindler syndrome. In this type of EB, blistering may occur at multiple levels within the basement membrane zone, or in skin layers beneath it. This syndrome is rare within this disease, and characterized by blisters on the hands and feet, altered skin coloring, and damage to the inner lining of areas such as the mouth, intestines, or eyes.

 

"Since April 2018, it was getting harder to find bandages but we could manage to get some. However, as more sanctions were put in place, it was next to impossible to find any bandages for our little girl," he added.

 

Hamid Reza Hashemi-Golayegani, the head of the NGO that helps EB patients, said earlier this month that Swedish medical companies which provided protective bandages for such patients have halted supplies due to the restrictions. He added that these patients are in desperate need of the bandages as there is no alternative treatment for them.

 

Ava Is Not the Last Victim
But EB patients are not alone, there are many other people whose access to life-saving medicines are blocked. In a report released on October 29, Human Rights Watch (HRW) admitted that sanctions have "drastically constrained" Iran's ability to finance humanitarian imports and are threatening Iranians' right to health.

 

The report- titled "'Maximum Pressure:' U.S. Economic Sanctions Harm Iranians' Right to Health-" has documented the restrictions on financial transactions, coupled with "aggressive rhetoric" from US officials, which have caused "unnecessary suffering to Iranian citizens afflicted with a range of diseases and medical conditions."

 

The report said that some of the worst affected were "Iranians who have rare diseases and/or conditions that require specialized treatment and are unable to acquire previously available medicines or supplies.

 

Although the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the US in October 2018 to halt the unilateral sanctions it had reimposed on "humanitarian" supplies to Iran, the policy was not changed and the situation just got worse.

 

US Could Have Saved Hundreds
Last Thursday, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi delivered a speech at a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York on nuclear non-proliferation and implementation of Resolution 2231, which backed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal - officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. He shared Ava's story and said how White House's aggressive deployment of coercive economic tools are hurting ordinary people.

 

At the end of this meeting Ambassador Kelly Craft walked over to talk to her Iranian counterpart in the Security Council chamber, making a rare compassionate public gesture by expressing condolences over Ava's death.

 

But who does not know that If the US had lifted its sanctions against humanitarian goods, Ava and many other toddles like her, would have been alive now.

 

The article was originally published in Parsi Policy.

News Code: 28819
Published Date: Saturday 28 December 2019 - 11:02:59
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