Pharmaceutical Company Tied to Supreme Leader Under Investigation

4 weeks ago 24

Following Iran International's report on a contaminated dialysis solution from a company linked to the Supreme Leader, Iran's acting president has ordered an urgent investigation by the anti-corruption coordination head.

Iranian state media has reported that Mohammad Mokhber called for a thorough inquiry into reports of adverse effects from the dialysis solution.

On Tuesday, Iran International TV's Titre Aval program (First Headline) revealed documents showing that peritoneal dialysis solutions produced by Samen Pharmaceutical Company, owned by US-sanctioned Astan Quds Razavi, are contaminated with aluminum. The report revealed contamination has poisoned several dialysis patients, leading to some fatalities. The Astan business conglomerate is controlled by Ali Khamenei's office.

Peritoneal dialysis is a kidney failure treatment that filters blood through the abdominal lining, requiring a surgical tube insertion into the belly.

Iran International's report featured voice messages from individuals sharing their loved ones' experiences, recounting seizures and coma-like states with decreased consciousness levels. Following the program's broadcast, another individual reported the death of a patient due to the contamination's consequences.

Iran International also published two letters regarding this issue.

The first, dated June 6, from the Iran Food and Drug Administration (IFDA) to Samen's CEO, demanded the halt of the distribution and use of the contaminated solutions.

The second, dated June 8, from the director of the Iranian Nephrology Association, informed nephrologists across Iran about the contamination and patient poisonings. It confirmed that Samen acknowledged the contamination.

During Donald Trump's presidency, the US sanctioned Astan Quds Razavi, a robust religious-business foundation managing the Imam Reza Holy Shrine, for being controlled by Iran's Supreme Leader.

The institution enables “Iran’s elite to sustain a corrupt system of ownership over large parts of Iran’s economy,” according to the US Treasury.

Iran's late president, Ebrahim Raisi, was a former head of Astan Quds Razavi, which has extensive economic holdings in Iran. Raisi's successor, Ahmad Marvi, was also sanctioned under Executive Order 13876.

Ebrahim Raisi at Samen Pharmaceutical Company

Swiftly after the Iran International report, state media reported that the Iran Food and Drug Administration (IFDA) also said it had received reports of problems and side effects related to Samen Pharmaceutical Company's peritoneal dialysis solution. They confirmed on Wednesday that an order had been issued to stop the production, distribution, and consumption of this product's entire manufacturing series until more detailed tests were carried out in the country.

According to Hamshahri Online in Tehran, the Samen company also announced that the issue is under investigation.

This report emerges amidst significant concerns over the scarcity and escalating costs of medications in Iran, coupled with pharmaceutical companies facing bankruptcy and closure. Local media report that many common and critical hospital drugs are unavailable.

The government controls medicine imports, allocating foreign currency to public and private sector importers. However, Iran's economic challenges, worsened by numerous sanctions, have stretched the government's ability to allocate foreign currencies. Additionally, reports of widespread corruption in the pharmaceutical sector have exacerbated the current situation.

Despite these challenges in the health sector, the government continues to finance a host of armed militias throughout the Middle East, including Hamas, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Houthis in Yemen, in addition to its military presence in Syria.

Over the past few years, the Ministry of Health and the Red Crescent have seen numerous reports and news reports about corruption in drug imports. It has been revealed that some groups allocated government funds for medicine imports but misused these funds for other purposes.

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