A leading medical charity in Iran has said Western sanctions are having an adverse effect on the health of up to six million patients.

Though the Western-backed sanctions are not meant to target the nation's healthcare industry, the Foundation for Special Diseases says the restrictions have made it more difficult to import medicine and equipment into the country.

The difficulties are due to the targets of the sanctions, Foad Izadi, a professor at Tehran University, told Al Jazeera.

The banking system and oil industries have both been targeted, meaning "there is less foreign currency coming in" with which to import goods, Izadi said.

Though Iran's imports and exports of medicine are said to be equal to roughly $400m each, Izadi said the country is now "trying to produce as much medicine internally as possible".

The sanctions are in reaction to Western accusations that the nuclear technology being utilised in Tehran is for weapons, not medicinal, use.

Al Jazeera's Soraya Lennie reports from Tehran.

Source: Al Jazeera