Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

China’s position paper conducive to peace and development in Afghanistan, experts say


(Xinhua) — Being in line with the interests of the Afghan people and the expectations of the international community, China’s position paper on the Afghan issue will help Afghanistan achieve peace and development at an early date, as well as play a positive and constructive role in maintaining regional prosperity and stability, said experts.

In the position paper released on Wednesday, China expressed support for prudent governance and reconstruction of Afghanistan and its counter-terrorism efforts. It also urged the United States to live up to its commitments to and responsibilities for Afghanistan and called for international and regional coordination on the Afghan issue.

Afghan Taliban appreciates and welcomes China’s release of the position paper on Afghanistan, and respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, said Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister of the Afghan interim government, who thanked China for its long-term political support to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan understands China’s security concerns, will never allow any forces to use the Afghan territory to harm China’s national interests, and will spare no efforts to protect the safety of Chinese institutions and citizens in Afghanistan, Muttaqi said on Thursday during a meeting with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

He also expressed the hope to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and to strengthen bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

The paper provides a comprehensive explanation of China’s policy on the Afghan issue and will play a positive role in achieving peace and stability for Afghanistan and its neighboring countries, said Najibullah Jami, a professor and political analyst at the Kabul University.

In the position paper, China welcomes Afghanistan’s participation in Belt and Road cooperation and supports Afghanistan’s integration into regional economic cooperation and connectivity that will transform Afghanistan from a “land-locked country” into a “land-linked country,” Jami said.

“The position paper has drawn a blueprint for the future development of Afghanistan,” he said. “It is not only a new beginning for Afghanistan … but also a new opportunity for the further development of bilateral relations.”

Zahir Behzad, an economics researcher from the Technical Vocational Education and Training Authority of Afghanistan, said that China will play a vital role in helping Afghanistan to achieve peaceful reconstruction and stable development.

“Afghanistan, located in the heart of Eurasia, was once an important stop along the Silk Road, and we expect that China’s initiative can help Afghanistan become a land of prosperity again,” Behzad said.

There is no doubt that the United States bears primary responsibility for today’s situation in Afghanistan. It should play a more active role in areas such as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and post-war reconstruction there, said Oleg Timofeyev, an associate professor at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia.

China emphasizes in the paper that under the new circumstances, Afghanistan should become a platform for cooperation among all parties, rather than a venue for geopolitical games. “This is an admirable position. China is working hard to expand international consensus on the Afghan issue, and the results are promising,” he said.

China attaches importance to dialogue and development but sticks to its fundamental principle of non-interference, said Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, chief executive officer of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development.

“So China lets Afghan people decide about that governance system and support them with economic and development opportunities. I think it will bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan, which will be beneficial for that region and the world,” he said.

Chairman of the Association of Political Scientists of Tajikistan Saifullo Safarov considers China as a guarantor of security and stability in the region which has been proved by the position paper, bringing hope to all who are concerned about the future of Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.

“This paper, one of the most constructive documents on a global scale, can play a crucial role in establishing order and stability in Afghanistan and in maintaining peace in the region. We look forward to relevant parties responding to China’s constructive proposal,” he said.

The position paper shows that China is looking for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and is ready to help Afghan people to develop their own country, which is beneficial to the whole region and China itself, said Mohammad Reza Manafi, editor-in-chief for the Asia-Pacific news desk of Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

Japan’s population further drops


The population in Japan declined to 124.95 million in 2022, marking the 12th consecutive year of decline, government data showed Wednesday.

As of Oct. 1 last year, the total population, including foreign residents, saw a decrease of 556,000, or 0.44 percent from the previous year, according to the latest population estimates released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

The number of Japanese nationals, which came in at 122 million, plunged by 750,000, the decline of which has been expanding since 2011, the ministry said in an online report.

The figure represented the largest comparable decline since comparable data became available in 1950, Kyodo News reported.

 The government will address the country’s falling birthrate “with the highest priority,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference.

In the latest count, the number of people under the age of 15 came to 14.5 million, making up for the lowest-ever 11.6 percent of the population, while those aged 65 or over totaled about 36.23 million, slightly up from a year earlier to account for 29 percent of the total.

Of the total population, males accounted for 48.6 percent with a fall for the 15th consecutive year, while the female population saw the 12th consecutive year of decline to account for 51.4 percent.

The population sex ratio, or the ratio of males to females in a population, was 94.7, with females outnumbering males by 3,431,000, the data showed.

 From a regional perspective, Tokyo saw its population increase by 0.20 percent, rebounding from the first drop in 26 years last year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that slowed the traditional influx of people to the capital region, according to local media reports.

Japan’s total population fell below the previous year’s level for the first time in 2005, then peaked in 2008, and has declined for 12 consecutive years since 2011, the ministry’s report said.

With a declining birthrate and an aging population, a shrinking workforce and a greater financial burden on the medical and social security systems are posing challenges to the country.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has on multiple occasions promised to focus on policies related to children this year, vowing to tackle the low birthrate through “unprecedented” steps.

In the latest move to tackle the falling birthrate, the Japanese government put into operation a new administrative body Children and Families Agency to better serve the country’s child-related policies.

IMF urges tighter fiscal policy to help tame inflation


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday urged fiscal policymakers to adopt tighter fiscal policies to help central banks fight inflation.

“Amid high inflation, tightening financing conditions, and elevated debt, policymakers should prioritize keeping fiscal policy consistent with central bank policies to promote price and financial stability,” the IMF said in a blog as it released its latest Fiscal Monitor.

The report argued that many countries will need a tight fiscal stance to support the ongoing disinflation process — especially if high inflation proves more persistent.

“Tighter fiscal policy would allow central banks to increase interest rates by less than they otherwise would, which would help contain borrowing costs for governments and keep financial vulnerabilities in check,” said the blog, authored by IMF economist Francesca Caselli and her colleagues.

Meanwhile, the IMF noted that tighter fiscal policies require “better targeted safety nets to protect the most vulnerable households,” including addressing food insecurity, while containing overall spending growth.

According to the newly released Fiscal Monitor, following 2020’s historic surge in public debt to nearly 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) because of economic contraction and massive government support, fiscal deficits have since declined.

In the last two years, global debt posted the steepest decline in decades and stood at 92 percent of GDP at the end of last year, which is still about 8 percentage points above pre-pandemic projections.

“Reducing debt vulnerabilities and rebuilding fiscal buffers over time is an overriding priority,” the blog noted. In low-income developing economies, higher borrowing costs are also weighing on public finances, with 39 countries already in or near debt distress.

The IMF called on policymakers to step up efforts to develop “credible risk-based fiscal frameworks” that reduce debt vulnerabilities over time and build up the necessary room to handle future shocks.

Noting that low-income countries face “particularly severe challenges,” the IMF said international cooperation is “crucial” to helping these countries resolve unsustainable debt burdens in an orderly and timely manner.

Classified document leak shows U.S. double standards, says expert

The reported leaks of classified Pentagon documents show the United States’ double standards as it is engaged in spying on countries, including its allies, while it accuses other countries of engaging in network surveillance, a Croatian expert said here on Wednesday.

“In many respects, America has double standards, as it accuses others of what it is doing itself. Double standards are visible in many fields in American politics today,” Hrvoje Klasic, a professor at the University of Zagreb, told Xinhua in an interview.

The leaks of classified U.S. documents show that Washington is trying to gather information from everyone, including its allies, “because it clearly does not trust anyone completely,” Klasic said, adding that it is the same case with Ukraine, as the documents revealed that the U.S. has been spying on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Eavesdropping on everyone, including its allies, is nothing new for the United States, and the leaks of classified military documents certainly “cast a new picture” on the background of the Ukraine crisis, Klasic noted.

In May 2021, Denmark’s national broadcaster DR News reported that the Danish Defense Intelligence Service had given the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) open internet access to spy on senior politicians of neighboring countries, including then German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

That exposure somewhat cooled off the relations between the U.S. and Europe and showed that the transatlantic alliance faced countless challenges, Klasic said.

The reported leaks of highly classified documents that have been trending online recently shed light on the extensive spying activities conducted by Washington on its allies and foes alike, as the latest leaks of documents have raised concerns from U.S.-friendly nations involved, while other allies are also conducting damage assessments to determine if their own sources and methods have been compromised.

Earlier this month, reports on batches of alleged U.S. intelligence documents that were uploaded on social media platforms such as Twitter and Telegram grabbed headlines.

According to U.S. officials, several of the documents are authentic and are believed to have been generated between mid-February and early March. They contain extensive top-secret data related to U.S.-friendly nations, including Ukraine, South Korea and Israel.

European Banking System Faces Turmoil Due to Risk Spillover from US Financial Markets


A lack of independent financial policies and oversight has put the European banking industry in turmoil due to spillover risks from the U.S. financial system, a Singaporean economist told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The crisis that happened to Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank reflected how fragile some European banks were when depending excessively on an international financial system dominated by U.S. dollars, said Yan Li, a senior lecturer at Nanyang Business School of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

“The overlapped systemic financial risk and lack of trust jointly fueled the banking crisis in Europe,” Yan noted, adding that such a situation may see the European banking industry and economy face hard times in the future.

“The United States may slow down interest rate hikes, but will not cease. Therefore, the European banking industry will face growing systemic risks,” said the economist.

However, Yan said that the current banking crisis in some European countries and the United States is unlikely to deteriorate into another global financial crisis similar to what happened in 2008.

“The collapse of the banking industry and even the financial system in Europe and the United States is unbearable, so relevant governments will do their best to stop the crisis from spreading,” he said.

In Europe, Credit Suisse, the second largest bank in Switzerland, was taken over by Swiss banking giant UBS due to a liquidity crisis and market volatility. Also in March, the share prices of Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank plunged amid growing concern about the health of European banks.  

Iran proposes lessening West’s dominance in global economy


A top Iranian security official said on Sunday that reducing the U.S. dollar’s influence on regional and international trade will minimize the West’s domination over the global economy.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in a meeting with the Russian president’s aide Igor Levitin in Iranian capital Tehran, according to SNSC-affiliated Nour News.

During the meeting, Shamkhani said the process to reduce the dollar’s clout on regional and international transactions has already started, noting that many countries are joining the path.

He described the initiatives finalized between Iran and Russia in the area of monetary and banking transactions as an “effective” method for “dooming the illegal Western sanctions to failure.”

Shamkhani expressed satisfaction with the improved level of economic cooperation between Iran and Russia over the past months, highlighting the need to accelerate the joint economic projects’ implementation.

He said completing the International North-South Transport Corridor and expansion of the transportation sector cooperation between the two countries constitute an important part of the joint projects.

For his part, Levitin said Moscow is ready to make investments in different Iranian economic sectors, including those pertaining to the steel, oil and petrochemical industries.

Commenting on the numerous bilateral visits by the two countries’ economic and banking officials over the past months, he said favorable ground has been prepared for signing multilateral economic deals and attracting other countries to participate in the lucrative economic projects.

Levitin arrived in Tehran on Friday night for talks with senior Iranian officials, including Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash.

Iran and Russia, both under sanctions imposed by the United States, have been expanding their political and economic relations to counter the U.S. moves. 

A Moroccan Doctor’s Fascinating Connection to China

“I’m a living example among the thousands of cases saved by Chinese doctors in Morocco,” Rachidi Imane, a Moroccan doctor, recalled how she was saved upon birth by a Chinese doctor 42 years ago.

On Oct. 21, 1981, Imane’s pregnant mother was rushed to a local hospital in the northern Moroccan city of Taza, as she encountered a rarely complicated childbirth marked by macrosomia and face presentation, which threatened the lives of both the mother and baby.

A Chinese obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) at the hospital diagnosed her with fetal distress and quickly decided to perform a Cesarean section on the mother, saving her and the baby, who was named Imane.

“If it were not for the timely and skillful surgery by the Chinese doctor, my mother and I would have died that day, and I would not have had the chance to become an OB-GYN just like her,” Imane told Xinhua.

Inspired by her own birth story, Imane grew up to become an OB-GYN doctor herself, and worked with the Chinese doctors sent from China to help Morocco deal with the shortage of doctors.

Imane has a deep personal bond with China, not only because of her birth story, but also of the daily collaboration with Chinese colleagues in the Rhamna Provincial Central Hospital in the Moroccan town of Ben Guerir, around 180 km south of Casablanca.

Until now, Morocco is still facing a shortage of medical personnel, not to mention 42 years ago when the health care system was far worse. Since 1975, a total of 1944 Chinese medical personnel from Shanghai have been dispatched to Morocco. The Chinese doctors have so far treated a total of about 5.78 million outpatients and emergency cases, and 800,000 inpatients.

Currently, 78 Chinese medical staff are working in Morocco, providing free medical services to Moroccans in remote areas short of doctors and medicines, including Mohammodia, Rachidia, Taza, Chefchaouen, Agadir, Meknes, Ben Guerir and Settat.

Achibet Mostafa, dean of the Hassan II Hospital of Settat who has been working with Chinese medical teams for 30 years, said that “a shortage of medical personnel remains a critical problem we must overcome.”

He praised China for sending doctors to Morocco over the past decades, because it is “more important than providing the aid of material resources.”

When the 194th Chinese medical team arrived at Ben Guerir in November 2021, Imane quickly got to know the newcomers and became good friends with them.

“Doctor Zhang Qian and I are more than colleagues. She is my friend and my sister. We recommend cosmetics brands to each other, exchange beauty tips, and I teach her how to dress in Moroccan clothes,” she said.

Imane was also touched by Zhang’s kindness and generosity. When Imane was on shift, Zhang often brings her food and covers her shift during meal times or when Imane is on sick leave.

By working together harmoniously, Moroccan and Chinese doctors learned a lot from each other.

“The Chinese colleagues generously share their medical knowledge and skills with us. It is truly a stroke of luck for me to have the opportunity to learn these without having to study in China,” Imane said.

Nasser Bouchiba, president of the Africa-China Cooperation Association for Development in Morocco, lauded the Chinese medical teams for providing timely help to Morocco from the beginning.

“African countries like Morocco were badly short of talent when they were grappling with the national reconstruction following the colonial era. The Chinese doctors … undeniably played a significant role in providing essential medical aid to our underserved regions,” said Bouchiba.

“Chinese doctors are our best teachers. I hope more Chinese doctors will come to help us in the future,” Imane said.

Scientists reveal mechanisms behind complex color patterns in petals

Chinese scientists have revealed the mechanisms underlying the formation of complex color patterns on Nigella orientalis (Ranunculaceae) petals.

Researchers from the Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences analyzed the cellular bases, chromogenic substances, reflectance spectra, developmental processes, and underlying mechanisms of complex color pattern formation on N. orientalis petals by conducting detailed morphological, anatomical, biochemical, optical, transcriptomic and functional studies.

They discovered that the complexity of the N. orientalis petals in the color pattern is reflected at multiple levels, with the amount and arrangement of different pigmented cells being the key, according to a research paper published in the journal New Phytologist.

By tracking the formation process of color patterns, researchers also found that biosynthesis of the chromogenic substances of different colors is sequential so that one color or pattern is superimposed on another.

Expression and functional studies further revealed that a pair of R2R3-MYB genes function cooperatively to specify the formation of the eyebrow-like horizontal stripe and the Mohawk haircut-like splatters, according to the research paper.

Trump charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records, pleads not guilty


Former U.S. President Donald Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records, the Manhattan district attorney said on Tuesday afternoon.

Trump, who was arraigned at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City and became the first former U.S. president to be criminally indicted, reportedly pleaded not guilty.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment after Trump’s arraignment, accusing him of “falsifying New York business records in order to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”

During the election, Trump and others employed a “catch and kill” scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects, according to Bragg’s office in a press release.

Trump then tried to hide this conduct, causing dozens of false entries in business records to conceal criminal activity, including attempts to violate state and federal election laws, the release alleged.

The New York State Supreme Court indictment cited three instances of hush-money payments to cover up Trump’s alleged affairs.

A Republican who held the White House from early 2017 to early 2021 after winning the 2016 race, Trump has denied wrongdoing and stated that the criminal inquiry led by Bragg, a Democrat, is politically motivated.

Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche, speaking to reporters outside the Manhattan Criminal Court after Trump’s departure, revealed that his client is “frustrated” and “upset.”

“It’s not a good day,” Blanche said, adding that “you don’t expect this to happen … to somebody who was the president of the United States.”

Trump is traveling back to his Mar-a-Lago residence in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he will hold an event to address his indictment on Tuesday night, following the court appearance.

“Seems so SURREAL — WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!” Trump wrote on his social media platform “Truth Social” before arriving at the Manhattan Criminal Court earlier in the day.

Republicans have rallied behind Trump, criticizing that the justice system has been weaponized by the Democratic Party for political purposes since Trump, 76, is running for the White House again and is an early frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

“Equal justice under the law, unless you’re a Republican running for president,” tweeted U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who serves as chairman of the House Republican Study Committee.

Democrats, by contrast, are seeking to cast the historic indictment as an accountability move and urging Trump supporters to remain peaceful while protesting.

“I believe that Donald Trump will have a fair trial that follows the facts and the law,” U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

“There’s no place in our justice system for any outside influence or intimidation in the legal process,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, added.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that President Joe Biden is aware of his predecessor’s arraignment but stressed that it is not the Democrat’s “focus.”

“Of course, this is playing out on many of the networks here on a daily basis for hours and hours, so obviously, he will catch part of the news when he has a moment to catch up on the news of the day, but this is not his focus for today,” Jean-Pierre said.

In addition to the hush-money payment case, Trump is facing several other criminal investigations at the state and federal levels, including his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, his handling of classified documents, and his role in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

Sixty percent of Americans approve of the indictment of Trump, according to a new CNN poll released on Monday.

Support for the indictment fell along party lines, with 94 percent of Democrats approving of the decision to indict Trump, while 79 percent of Republicans disapproved of the move to indict.

Besides, about three-quarters of Americans say politics played at least some role in the Trump indictment, including 52 percent who said it played a major role, the CNN poll showed.

The Human Cost of U.S. Sanctions on Iran’s “Butterfly Kids

As if suffering from one of the rarest skin disorders ever known, epidermolysis bullosa (EB), is not already painful enough to make life a living hell for seven-year-old Mohammad Rezaei, the inhumane U.S. sanctions are also rubbing salt into the wounds.

EB is a rare genetic condition that causes fragile, blistering skin. EB patients are often referred to as “butterfly children” because their skin is as fragile as a butterfly’s wings. The blisters may appear in response to a minor injury, even from heat, rubbing or scratching. The disorder is so painful that the patients tend to liken their skin’s burning sensation to that experienced in third-degree burns.

What makes the story of the Iranian EB patients even more heart-rending is that a significant portion of them are children like Rezaei.

Rezaei said his skin “easily gets injured and the consequent wounds and infections are very painful.”

Despite being just a child, he knows very well the reason why he was, at least for the time being, doomed to suffer such a degree of pain and inconvenience. Due to the U.S. sanctions, there has been a lack of necessary dressings for children like him.

A very useful dressing produced under the brand name of Mepilex by the Swedish company Molnlycke can, to a good extent, alleviate these patients’ pain and suffering, making life easier for them. In fact, these patients’ survival depends entirely on the timely use of the dressing. However, the U.S. sanctions have deprived EB patients in Iran of this temporary yet palpable relief.

It came as over a dozen EB patients in Iran have reportedly died of the disease in the absence of the much-needed medical supplies. Others suffered from severe physical injuries, including amputation.

Iran has been under U.S. sanctions for the past four decades. The sanctions intensified following the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Although the United States hypocritically claimed that humanitarian items, including medicine and foodstuffs, are not included in the sanctions list, its embargoes on Iran’s oil exports and banking sector have, in practice, prevented the country from importing such goods.

With her little son bearing similar sufferings, Akram Ait urged those behind the sanctions and the consequent lack of access to Mepilex dressings in Iran to “put themselves for a second in our shoes.”

“What would they do if their own children, relatives or acquaintances were suffering from the same disease?” she asked.

“Let’s say there is no link of any kind between them and the patients, isn’t a person worth (suffering) that much to get access to a simple Mepilex dressing that can be easily provided to him/her by them?” Ait added.

“They deny that person the right to have access to Mepilex dressings, which can to some extent help him/her live, although not very comfortably, a little bit more comfortably,” she said.

Regarding the U.S. sanctions’ negative impacts, Hamidreza Hashemi Golpayegani, an Iranian cleric and the founder of Iran’s EB Home — an NGO for children suffering from EB — said, “Previously, we had easy access to the (Mepilex) dressings.”

However, following the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, “we felt the intensity of the sanctions on us to a greater extent,” he said.

“When the Mepilex dressings are applied to the wounds, they allow EB patients to wear clothes and remove the dressings from their wounds without detaching the flesh and skin and with less pain,” said Hashemi Golpayegani, whose own daughter has been suffering from EB for the past 21 years.

“The dressings also help EB patients feel less irritation and enable them to lie down on their back when resting or sleeping at night,” he said, adding that the dressings are, in a way, a very basic requirement of EB patients.

Hashemi Golpayegani at EB House once wrote a letter to Molnlycke, but the drugmaker replied it would not be able to provide the dressings needed for EB patients in Iran because they are sanctioned by the United States.

Over the past years, Iranian officials have frequently decried the adverse impacts of the U.S. sanctions on the humanitarian issues in the country, in efforts to raise the international community’s awareness in this regard.

Kazem Gharibabadi, the Iranian Judiciary chief’s deputy for international affairs and secretary of the country’s High Council for Human Rights, recently dismissed as “a big lie” the U.S. claims that humanitarian items are not included in the list of sanctions, saying such claims are not based on reality.

He noted that U.S. sanctions directly target Iran’s main source of income, oil sales and the banking sector, and ultimately local people’s right to development and welfare.

“This has seriously endangered Iranian patients’ right to life and health,” Gharibabadi said.

Tehran’s cry has been echoed by UN human rights experts. After her visit to Iran in May 2022, Alena Douhan, UN special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, concluded that sanctions, secondary sanctions and different forms of over-compliance have a serious negative impact on the country’s economy, leading to “serious violations of human rights and humanitarian challenges.”

“Of particular concern is the significant challenge faced in the procurement and delivery of life-saving medicines and medical equipment, produced by foreign companies and destined for the treatment of rare diseases,” she said in her report to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.

Douhan’s report also challenged Washington’s claim of so-called humanitarian exemptions.

The UN expert found that although the sanctions’ documents announce that medicines and medical equipment are not affected due to humanitarian exemptions, their delivery to Iran is “severely undermined by the effects of sanctions on finance, trade, shipping and insurance companies, restrictions on international payments, and by foreign businesses’ and suppliers’ over-compliance.”

“These constitute serious impediments to the enjoyment of the right to the highest attainable standard of health by all Iranians,” she said.

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