All tagged humanitarian trade
◢ Since the year 2000, Iran has about doubled its annual imports of pharmaceutical products from the European Union, reflecting both advances in Iranian healthcare and the growth in Europe-Iran trade ties. But a distortion in the value of trade relative to quantity means that Iran is paying significantly more than the likes of Russia, Turkey, and Pakistan for each kilogram of medication.
◢ Last year, the Swiss government opened negotiations with the Trump administration to ensure that Switzerland’s significant sales of pharmaceutical products and medical devices—technically exempt from U.S. sanctions—could continue unimpeded. But the National Security Council has so far prevented the Swiss effort to ease trade in food and medicine in a remarkable subversion of longstanding U.S. protections for humanitarian trade with Iran.
◢ Data from Eurostat and the Swiss Federal Customs Administration show that European exports of pharmaceutical products to Iran have fallen considerably on a year-on-year basis. While some of Iran’s smaller trade partners have seen export values rise, Iran’s top sources of European pharmaceutical products are seeing exports contract.
◢ On 5 November, the Trump administration’s latest and most significant wave of sanctions against Iran came into effect. The US Treasury has issued a list of more than 700 Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and Blocked Persons, which includes roughly 300 entities that did not feature in Obama-era sanctions. The new sanctions impact Iran’s oil and transportation industries and banking sector in important ways.
◢ In an exclusive interview with Bourse & Bazaar, CEO of Iran’s Parsian Bank, which was sanctioned last week by the US Treasury, has described the designation of the bank as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) a “mistake.” The move against one of Iran’s leading private sector banks by has many in Iran’s banking sector worried about the ongoing viability of humanitarian trade.