A new study by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran indicates that the policies of the Ahmadinejad administration together with international sanctions are putting growing pressure on Iranians to provide for their nutritional and medical needs.

The study, titled “A Growing Crisis: The Impact of Sanctions and Regime Policies on Iranians’ Economic and Social Rights”, was published on Monday April 29. It reports that Iran’s economic and social infrastructure is being destroyed by growing inflation, factory closures and growing unemployment and poverty.

The study maintains that Iran depends on imports to obtain special medicines for cancer, MS and hemophilia; however, Iran’s removal from the Swift network of banks has restricted the opportunity to buy these drugs from foreign producers.

Swift cut off its services to Iran in compliance with U.S. sanctions on Iran’s financial institutions.

The report goes on to add that sanctions are also imposed on Iranian shipping and transportation as well as insurance on Iranian purchases. The report adds that although the designers of the sanctions claim that food and medical drugs are exempted, restrictions on Iranian shipping insurance and financial institutions are in fact an effective barrier to all forms of imports, including medication and food necessities.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran adds that there has been a significant rise in the number of bankruptcies, layoffs and plant closures, and more than 15 million workers and their households are now facing immediate difficulty in paying to house and feed their families.

The effects of sanctions and inadequate national economic policies have also meant increases in child labour, family upheavals and domestic violence, the report adds.

The campaign urges the Iranian government and Western countries to “reassess their policies in light of the economic harm being inflicted upon the Iranian people," adding that "most urgently, all measures should be taken immediately to expedite the export of critically needed medicine and other humanitarian goods to Iran.”