In a televised speech on Friday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced he has banned U.S. and U.K. imports of the COVID-19 vaccine. Khamenei suggested the vaccines may be an attempt to infect other nations, reports Foreign Desk News.
“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” said Khamenei. As is often the case in regimes such as Iran, its people will suffer greatly.
Allegedly Iran is working on a vaccine of its own, but its progress is poor. “If the Americans had managed to manufacture a vaccine, this coronavirus fiasco wouldn’t have happened in their own country. If they can create a vaccine if their Pfizer factory can manufacture a vaccine, then why do they want to give it to us?” said Khamenei.
Iran has had over 1.2 million COVID-19 cases and over 56,000 deaths making it one of the hardest-hit middle eastern countries. Instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to help his own people, Khamenei said of the U.S. and U.K., “They should consume it themselves so they wouldn’t have so many deaths.” In August the BBC discovered Iran’s death toll from COVID-19 was actually around three times more than what was publicly reported.
In an interview with the Foreign Desk, an Iranian man still in Iran who does not want to be identified said of the situation: “the regime wants to destroy its people.” The man added, “they say they do not have the money to buy vaccines due to the crippling sanctions but yet they have millions to send to Hezbollah in Lebanon and to other terrorist groups in the region.”
According to the Iranian Red Crescent Society, the Supreme Leader’s vaccine ban will prevent the arrival of 150,000 Pfizer vaccine doses donated by U.S. philanthropists. A senior adviser to the World Health Organization is urging countries “to put any kind of politics aside and make sure that vaccines get to the people that need them.”