Many studies have shown the crippling effects of sanctions on the healthcare sector of different countries, including Iran. Long-standing sanctions against Iran escalated recently and severely limited commercial activities with Iran. The devastating consequences of these embargoes have affected all aspects of health care delivery in Iran, limiting the availability of critical medicines and medical devices, and negatively impacting primary health care, treatment of complex diseases including cancer, medical tourism, and medical education and research. The present novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has uncovered this long-standing crisis in the Iranian health care sector. In this communication, we briefly discuss selected aspects of these sanctions and their impact on the health care system and people of Iran during this critical time.