Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei banned on Friday the import of COVID-19 vaccines from the US and the UK.
“The import of American and British vaccines is prohibited,” Khamenei said in a televised speech.
He also said he does not trust the two countries, adding: “Sometimes they want to try the vaccine on other nations.”
“If the Americans could produce a vaccine, they would not be in the state they are currently in. They would not be recording 4,000 deaths every day. Same with the UK,” he added.
Khamenei said that he does not trust France either, adding that if another country that Iran trusts produces a vaccine, the government would be allowed to import the vaccines from it.
In December, Iran launched its first phase of a clinical trial of a vaccine developed in the Islamic Republic, the region’s country hardest hit by the pandemic.
“The first vaccine against the coronavirus, developed by Iranian researchers, has been unveiled by injecting three people,” the public broadcaster said.
The novel coronavirus has killed nearly 55,000 out of more than 1.2 million people infected in Iran, according to health ministry data.
Iran has accused arch enemy the United States of hampering its access to vaccines through its tough sanctions regime. While food and medicine are technically exempt, international banks tend to refuse transactions involving Iran.