Iran has made great advances in the field of pharmaceuticals and now has the capacity to export medicines, according to the country’s president.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, quoted in a release from IRNA, the Islamic Republic News Agency, said that Iran's drugmakers are in a position to compete at the international level. Speaking at a ceremony attended by the members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Iran, the president said that the government has a responsibility to support the pharmaceutical industry in the country, noting that 95% of Iranian needs for medicines are met by domestic producers.

President Ahmadinejad, says IRNA, added that “the world trusts Iranian pharmacists due to their preference to human benefits rather than economic advantages”. The Fars news agency, cited by Press TV (a news channel funded by the Iranian government), quoted the president as saying that “contrary to the commercial approach that is prevalent in the world drug markets, our approach towards the production and export of drugs is humane”.

Press TV’s reporting of the ceremony also makes reference to an eyebrow-raising attack by President Ahmadinejad on Israel and the west. He is quoted as claiming that “some multinational companies and Zionist cartels produce new kinds of diseases to export their drugs to other countries”.