Iran president sacks cabinet's sole woman

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sacks Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi for proposing price hikes for some medicines.

Afp December 27, 2012
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sacks Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi for proposing price hikes for some medicines. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sacked Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, the sole woman in his cabinet, state television reported on Thursday.

The minister had proposed price hikes for a number of medicines due to the plunge of the Iranian rial against the US dollar and Western sanctions imposed on the country over its disputed nuclear programme.

But Ahmadinejad was opposed to the price rises and dismissed the minister.

Although the sanctions do not directly target medicines, they limit their importation because of restrictions on financial transactions.

Iran produces 97 percent of the drugs on its market, but their ingredients are imported.

In October, an Iranian official acknowledged the price of locally produced medicines had increased by 15-20 percent in the past three months, and 20-80 percent for imported products.

Fatemeh Hashemi, head of the Foundation for Special Diseases, sent a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon in August asking him to make a case to the West for easing sanctions that are detrimental to patients.

Tehran is under different rounds of sanctions designed by the United States, European Union and the UN Security Council to pressure it to curb its nuclear programme.

Western powers suspect Iran is using the programme to develop atomic weapons capability. The Islamic republic denies that and says its nuclear activities are purely peaceful.


cautious | 8 years ago | Reply

Economics/business 101. If you don't have money to replenish inventory then your going to eventually run out of inventory - not rocket science. She asked for more money and was turned down leaving her a choice of raising prices or ending up with no medical supplies - tough choice but raising prices beats having no medicine to dispense. Ahmadinejad would prefer "chest thumping" - shame on him.

doom | 8 years ago | Reply

@Analyzer: This is how a pandering and short-sighted government piles on debt eventually leading to crisis, and then it is forced to raise prices in the end anyway because money doesn't grow on trees and you can't give away stuff for free for very long.

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