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Iran bans importation of Covid vaccines from the US and UK

Vaccines produced by the US and UK might be banned from getting into Iran, its supreme chief has stated, regardless that his nation has suffered the worst virus outbreak within the Center East.

“Imports of US and British vaccines into the nation are forbidden … They’re fully untrustworthy,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated in a reside televised speech. “It’s not unlikely they might wish to contaminate different nations.

“Given our expertise with France’s HIV-tainted blood provides, French vaccines aren’t reliable both,” he added, referring to France’s contaminated blood scandal of the Eighties and Nineties.

Khamenei’s feedback mirrored the tense relations between Iran and the west, which haven’t abated within the waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

In his speech, Khamenei mocked American democracy and human rights within the wake of the riot at Capitol Hill in Washington, and stated Iran was in no hurry to barter with the incoming Biden administration. However he stated if the US lifted sanctions, Iran would reply. He stated the problem of compensation for sanctions could possibly be pursued at a later date.


His remarks got here as Iran ready to debate a plan to buy medical provides by unlocking as a lot as $1bn (£735m) of $7bn in frozen belongings held in two South Korean banks. The plan might be mentioned when the South Korean vice-foreign minister, Choi Jong-kun, travels to Tehran in an effort to safe the discharge of a South Korean vessel seized by the Iranian navy earlier this week. A number of the South Korean delegation reached Tehran on Friday.

Iran’s central financial institution governor stated Iranian oil revenues had fallen to $20bn, a drop of greater than half, because of US sanctions.

The Iranian international ministry claimed the diplomat’s go to was completely targeted on the unlocking of Iranian belongings, insisting it had been organized earlier than the ship seizure, though the official Iranian press has been reporting the US block on Iranian belongings in Korea ever for the reason that ship was stopped for allegedly polluting the marine setting.

Tehran has been in prolonged negotiations with South Korea on entry the belongings held in South Korean banks with out falling foul of US extraterritorial sanctions, one thing that’s prone to occur if greenback transactions are concerned.

Up to now Iran has exported oil and pure gasoline to South Korea utilizing settlement accounts primarily based on Korean foreign money.

Owing to the imposition of US sanctions, Tehran has been unable to entry its cash, regardless that it insists the cash could possibly be transferred in South Korea foreign money and used completely for the acquisition of sanction-exempt meals and medicines. Seoul claims it has not obtained the required US Treasury assurances that the funds wouldn’t result in fines.

Extra lately, Iran has advised the cash could be used to purchase vaccines utilizing the UN-approved Covax facility. Any fee by way of a greenback transaction may give the US Treasury leverage to positive the banks concerned, and Seoul has stated there isn’t any secure technique to switch the cash.

In relation to the coronavirus, Iranian officers have beforehand stated that importing the Pfizer vaccine, which should be shipped and saved at -70C (-94F), poses main logistical challenges for Iran.

The nation has struggled to stem the worst virus outbreak within the Center East, which has contaminated practically 1.3 million folks and killed practically 56,000.

Iran launched human trials of its first home Covid vaccine candidate late final month, saying it may assist Iran defeat the pandemic regardless of US sanctions that have an effect on its skill to import vaccines.

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