The United States should stop funding Iran’s oral health network because it is in direct conflict with its interests, a new report says.
The report, issued Monday, by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) says the US is “funding Iranian oral health services without clear oversight” and is undermining Iran’s health care system.
It notes that the US has provided “nearly $30 million per year in financial assistance to Iran since 2004.”
The US and Iran signed a historic nuclear deal in 2015, allowing Iran to enrich uranium for nuclear power for 10 years.
The deal also included a $1.7 billion payment to Iran for its water and sewage services.
The Obama administration has been pressuring the country to implement a number of measures in response to a deadly 2011 outbreak of coronavirus in Tehran, which the US blamed on Iranian-backed militias and their allies.
But the US and other countries have resisted pressure to halt aid to Iran.
In the report, CSIS analyst Daniel Pinkston said the US “is now clearly not serious about preventing and controlling the spread of the coronaviral pandemic.”
“Iran is already facing unprecedented costs of its own pandemic, as the country’s population ages and the population of neighboring countries grows,” he wrote.
“The United States is providing Iranian oral care and immunization programs that are not fully covered by the [sanctions] relief package, and Iran is subsidizing and incentivizing them to maintain this system of chronic disease, while providing little assistance in reducing its own costs of disease transmission.”
Pinkston wrote that the $1 billion in assistance Iran is receiving in fiscal year 2018 is “not enough” to ensure “the full access to health care, including preventive services.”
The report said the Iran-US agreement would allow Iran to continue receiving US aid for “a limited time, as long as Iran continues to comply with all its international obligations, including by fully complying with the Iranian commitment to fully implement the [Sanctions] Implementation Act, including all measures to address the health care and sanitation needs of Iranian citizens.”
The White House and the State Department have defended the Iran agreement, saying the agreement will allow Iran access to the US food, financial and medical markets.
Iran’s National Council of Health and Welfare said last week that it was “disappointed” with the report and the White House’s response.
“We have been working closely with the Trump administration and other partners in the U.S. administration to ensure that Iran’s population is able to access the services and facilities that it needs,” the council said in a statement.