TEHRAN – The Iranian Red Crescent society issued a statement on Friday, stressing that importing Pfizer vaccines made by the United States ‘is no more the question’.
In a televised speech on Friday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prohibited the import of American and British coronavirus vaccines to Iran, saying if the Americans were able to produce vaccines they weren’t in such dire circumstances.
“I really don’t trust them. They sometimes want to test the vaccine on other nations,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
Following the Leader’s comments, Mohammad-Hassan Qossian-Moqaddam, the IRCS spokesman, said that importing Pfizer vaccines made by the United States ‘is no more the question’.
“We are ready to cooperate, if necessary, in case the Ministry of Health puts in a request [for importing vaccines] from eastern countries,” IRNA quoted Qossian-Moqaddam as saying.
This is while IRCS head Karim Hemmati had said on December 28 that the IRCS was planning to take delivery of a batch of 150,000 coronavirus vaccines produced by Pfizer Inc.
He pointed out that the Pfizer vaccines have been donated by a charity group of Iranian people living abroad. He said that the donation has been made in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.
Christoph Hamelmann, World Health Organization Representative in Iran, said on December 28 that sanctions imposed by the United States will have no effect on importing coronavirus vaccines by Iran from the COVAX, a global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“We support and assist Iran in obtaining essential items from the global market, and we did so since the beginning of the pandemic, as we anticipated the provision of medicine to be affected by sanctions,” he added, ILNA reported.
COVAX member states, including Iran, will jointly decide on which brand of vaccine each country to purchase, and the final decision will be announced by the officials, he noted.
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