Iran Bans U.S., U.K. Covid-19 Vaccines

World | January 8, 2021, Friday // 12:57|  views


Iran’s Supreme Leader said he was banning the import of coronavirus vaccines made by U.S. and U.K. companies, limiting the country’s options as it confronts the worst outbreak in the Middle East.

 “The import of American and British vaccines to the country is banned,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech Friday. “If their Pfizer manufacturer can produce a vaccine, then why do they want to give it to us?” he said. “They should use it themselves so they don’t experience so many fatalities. Same with the U.K.”
Khamenei is a strident critic of the U.S., which under President Donald Trump left the 2015 nuclear deal that had offered Iran a route to economic recovery and reimposed sweeping sanctions. Iranian officials have said the penalties hindered the country’s response to the pandemic.
The cleric said western drug companies tested vaccines on other countries “to see if they work or not.”

Iran’s Red Crescent Society said in December it would accept 150,000 shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine donated by U.S. philanthropists. The organization’s office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Khamenei’s ruling.

The ban leaves China and Russia as the most likely foreign vaccine suppliers for Iran./Bloomberg

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