Posted on Jan 09, 2021
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has banned the import of COVID-19 vaccines from the United States and Britain, labelling the Western powers “untrustworthy”, as the infection spreads in the Middle East’s hardest-hit country.
In a live televised speech he raised the prospect of the two Western countries, long-time adversaries of the Islamic Republic, possibly seeking to spread the infection to other countries.
He added however that Iran could obtain vaccines “from other reliable places”.
“Imports of U.S. and British vaccines into the country are forbidden ... They’re completely untrustworthy. It’s not unlikely they would want to contaminate other nations,” he said.
“Given our experience with France’s HIV-tainted blood supplies, French vaccines aren’t trustworthy either."
Khamenei repeated the accusations in a tweet that was removed by Twitter along with a message saying it violated the platform’s rules against misinformation.
Iran launched human trials of its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidate late last month, saying it could help Iran defeat the pandemic despite U.S. sanctions that affect its ability to import vaccines.
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