The Role of Health Researchers in Documenting Health Suffering and Crimes against Humanity Resulting from 2018 US Sanctions against Iran

Ruth Margaret Gibson


On November 20, 2018, the United States imposed unilateral sanctions on the Republic of Iran. The intention of these sanctions, which are being used in conjunction with other political pressures, is to impose financial hardship on Iran for its perceived support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and terrorism. The consequences of these sanctions for the Iranian population will be manifold, with health likely to be one of the first sectors to suffer. There is no designated international body responsible for monitoring population health in the wake of sanctions; thus, health researchers have a pivotal role to play in the international community. The timely collection of health data can supply bodies such as the United Nations Security Council with information about the justness of the US sanctions and can be used in making arguments to protect human rights, including health, and in preventing crimes against humanity. This article briefly explains the concept of crimes against humanity and how health data and health service researchers can play an important role in drawing attention to declining health indicators in a sanctioned country.

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