Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says foreign companies will not be allowed to test their COVID-19 vaccines on the Iranian people, voicing his support for the Health Ministry, which prevented the move.
He was speaking during a meeting of the national task force for fighting the coronavirus in Tehran on Saturday, a day after Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei banned the import of COVID-19 vaccines from the United States and Britain.
“Some foreign companies wanted to test their vaccines on our people. But the Health Ministry prevented it,” Rouhani said.
“Of course, some countries accepted it, but we have nothing to do with them. Our people will not be a testing device for vaccine manufacturing companies,” he added. “We shall purchase safe foreign vaccines.”
Late last month, Iran launched human trials of its first domestically-developed COVID-19 vaccine after successfully completing the initial steps and obtaining necessary approvals.
In parallel with efforts at developing home-made vaccines, Iranian authorities have said the county has plans to purchase foreign brands that pass safety and efficiency tests.
However, inhumane US sanctions have affected Iran’s ability to make the payment for importing vaccines as well as life-saving medical equipment.
On Friday, the Leader said the import of American and British COVID-19 vaccines is prohibited, stressing, however, that the Iranian government is allowed to supply the vaccine from other reliable sources.
“Had the Americans managed to produce a vaccine, they would not have faced such a mess today in their own country. In one day, some 4,000 people died from COVID-19 in the US,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
“I really don’t trust them. Sometimes they want to test the vaccine on other nations.”
The Leader also noted that he is not optimistic about France as the country was involved in infected blood scandal in early 1990s.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani hailed the measures which have been taken in the field of the domestic vaccine, noting that Iran is also trying to buy safe vaccines despite all restrictions.
“Regarding the foreign vaccine, we had been engaged in the transfer works for over a month and forty days. It was one of the clear examples of the crimes committed by the United States against the Iranian nation.”
“They created a lot of problems for the transfer of money to a company’s account so that we could buy and import the vaccines when it was our turn. But, the government took the necessary measures despite all these difficulties.”
So far, 1,274,514 Iranians have been infected with COVID-19 in Iran. More than 56,000 people have died, while 1,058,654 have recovered.