Humanitarian concerns led the US Office of Foreign Assets Control to revise some key elements of Iran’s economic sanctions last month, allowing American companies to export medical supplies to Iran. Medicine shortages have affected an estimated six million Iranians, according to the Center for Research on Globalization.
In a UN report released on October 5, General Secretary Ban Ki Moon said that the sanctions were adversely affecting humanitarian efforts in Iran. “Even companies that have obtained the requisite license to import food and medicine are facing difficulties in finding third-country banks to process the transactions," he wrote.
The story of Western economic sanctions with unintended consequences is quite common. Here’s a list of cases around the world where sanctions tipped the scale against civilians: