Görkem ŞEKEROĞLU -TDO- Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday (8 January) declared that all coronavirus vaccinations produced by the UK and the US, countries the cleric described as “untrustworthy”, will be prohibited from entering Iran. This surprise move that contradicts his own government’s recent efforts to ensure the country’s access to safe and effective immunizations will restrict vaccination options for one of the hardest-hit countries in the Middle East.
In a live television address on Friday morning the Supreme Leader Khamenei said he was banning imports of U.S. and British covid-19 vaccines into the country , adding that drug companies from his long-time adversaries send vaccines to other countries to “see if they work or not”. If their Pfizer manufacturer has managed to 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 UK”.
He also posted a tweet questioning the credibility of the vaccines, which Twitter later removed.
Friday’s ban will cause the cancellation of a deal for the importation of 150,000 doses of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine which had been finalized with the help of a group of US philanthropists.