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Iran Bans Entry to Vaccine from West, Alleging Foul Play

Iran Bans Entry to Vaccine from West, Alleging Foul Play

Iran over the weekend announced that it would shut itself out entirely from coronavirus vaccines and testing arriving from Western countries, possibly extending the havoc wreaked by the global pandemic on the Persian state. On Friday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he would not allow any imports of vaccines from the “untrustworthy” United States, Britain and France, accusing them of wanting to “contaminate other nations.” Khamenei promised that the ban on Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and the like would not impede Iran’s inoculation attempts, saying the country could receive vaccines “from other reliable sources.” The social media site removed a later tweet by the ayatollah reiterating similar claims. Then, on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani revealed that foreign companies would also be prohibited from testing vaccines on the Iranian people. “Our people will not be a testing device for vaccine manufacturing companies,” he vowed. “We shall purchase safe foreign vaccines.” Last month, Tehran announced a new phase in its homegrown vaccine manufacturing process, beginning clinical trials. The Islamic Republic has in recent months implored the World Health Organization and other international groups to ensure it will not be barred from access to the coronavirus shot by American sanctions.

**Editor’s Note:  Enjoy the premiere episode of The Media Line’s television program, Facing the Middle East With Felice Friedson. Now available.

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