IranMiddle East

IRGC chief commander: We import vaccines only from countries whose products are sure to be safe

Iran will only import coronavirus vaccines from countries whose products are certain to be safe, or will use those vaccines it produces inside the country, says the chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Major General Hossein Salami made the remarks at a meeting on the situation of the coronavirus pandemic in the southeastern province of Kerman on Sunday.

“Due to absolute distrust, we cannot trust the enemies and allow them to inject the vaccine solution into the bodies of our people, because we know that in the enemy’s strategy, paralyzing the Iranian people is a definite goal,” Salami said, referring to the economic sanctions as the first plot to paralyze the Iranian nation.

“Using biological weapons is an integral part of the enemy’s military approach. Can the enemy be allowed to inject our people with its vaccine solution, which we do not know what is it?” he asked.

The IRGC chief said the ongoing propaganda surrounding the coronavirus vaccine, which aims to accuse Iran of refraining from importing foreign vaccines, is part of the enemy’s psychological operation, “because they want to show that we are dependent, humiliated and in need of the enemy.”

“They are asking why they [Iranians] do not import vaccines from America. [They ignore the fact that] even now, Americans do not allow us to unfreeze our money to buy vaccines. How are they going to justify this contradiction? We are working under these conditions,” Major General Salami said.

“Our country is different from all other countries in the world, because while we are facing this mysterious and complex global disease … at the same time, we are also facing the most severe and intensive global sanctions. We cannot use this nation’s money, which has been frozen in other countries’ banks by the US, to buy medicine, vaccine, and [other] pharmaceutical and medical articles,” General Salami remarked.

Iran has been fighting back against one of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world, with the harsh unilateral sanctions put in place by the US significantly hampering the country’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

The sanctions were imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump under a “maximum pressure” campaign and have been maintained by the current administration of Joe Biden, which has refused to soften the bans to ease pandemic-related hardship on Iranians.

Iranian officials have occasionally described the sanctions as “economic terrorism” and “medical terrorism” over their deadly impact on ordinary people.

As early as March 2020, when Iran was fighting its first COVID-19 wave, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the international community to play its real role to stop the United States’ medical terrorism against Iran.

“The global community must come to its senses and help Iran in order to stop the economic, medical and drug terrorism [by the US],” Zarif wrote in an op-ed published by Russian business newspaper Kommersant on March 30, 2020.

So far, 102,038 people have lost their lives in Iran due to the coronavirus, with 684 deaths registered in the last 24 hours.

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