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Rouhani: White House hindering Iran efforts to import vaccine, medicine

President Hassan Rouhani has lashed out at his US counterpart, Donald Trump, for hampering Iran’s purchase of medical equipment and vaccines required to fight the coronavirus pandemic, saying the “evil” team at the White House did not even spare the elderly and the disabled from the “cruel” measures.

Addressing a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani said the US administration has placed an obstacle in the path of every single Iranian effort to import vaccines and medical equipment.

“That is because they have created so many problems and are bothering us to the extent that the entire country has to work for weeks and sometimes months to move money from one place to another to buy medicine, a simple task that could have been taken care of via a phone call, a message and SWIFT,” he said.

“These people that were at the helm in the White House, and are spending the final days of their miserable [political] lives, were so evil that they did not even show mercy towards the health of people, the elderly and the disabled amid the coronavirus issue, and they acted in the most corrupt and most savage manner towards the people of the region and the great nation of Iran.”

Iran has been subjected to a series of tough economic sanctions as part of Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” since 2018, when he withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

As Trump’s term is nearing its end, his administration has been tightening its oppressive sanctions against the Islamic Republic, defying warnings from Tehran and international human rights organizations that the restrictions are severely hindering the Iranian health sector’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Rouhani also noted that Iran has the resolve to buy COVID-19 vaccines and has enough money for that purpose, but the US is blocking its efforts.

“Although we have money and resources are available to us, we hit a brick wall due to US troublemaking in our dealings with every country and every bank,” he added. “However, this does not mean that people should think they will not have access to the vaccine. We will overcome these problems at any cost.”

Iran, he said, will soon import COVID-19 vaccines, while working to speed up the production of domestic ones. 

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