Iran’s Import of COVID-19 Test Kits Hampered by US Sanctions, FATF Blacklisting

Iran’s Import of COVID-19 Test Kits Hampered by US Sanctions, FATF Blacklisting
A WHO representative delivering the Coronavirus diagnosis kits to Iranian healthcare officials in Tehran on Feb. 21, 2020 / Photo by the Health Ministry

An Iranian official says the import of the novel coronavirus diagnostic test kits has been hindered by the foreign sanctions and the Financial Action Task Force’s recent decision to put Iran on its blacklist.

In an interview with ILNA on Monday, vice president of the Iranian Union of Importers of Medical Equipment said the anti-Iran sanctions and the FATF blacklist have obstructed the import of coronavirus testing kits.

While several foreign companies are ready to ship the COVID-19 diagnostic test kits to Iran, the union is unable to transfer any money, because the sellers insist that the payments should be made only via banks, Ramin Fallah added.

“However, there are ways to bypass (the sanctions), but it takes time,” he noted.

He also explained that the most important medical apparatus in containing the novel coronavirus are the intensive care unit (ICU) equipment, since the most common symptom of the disease is respiratory problem.

Another vital gear for curing the coronavirus is medical ventilator, an adequate number of which is available in the country, he added.

Fallah also noted that he will be travelling to Turkey tomorrow for the purchase of 2 million respiratory masks in cash, saying the shipment will be delivered to Iran by the weekend.

The Iranian Health Ministry said on Monday that the total number of Iranians definitely diagnosed with the coronavirus has risen to 61, twelve of whom have died so far.

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