2021-January-16 09:53
Politics
2021-January-11  15:22

Academy of Medical Sciences Questions Trustworthiness of US, UK-Made COVID-19 Vaccines Over Inadequately-Tested Technology

TEHRAN (FNA)- President of Iran's Academy of Medical Sciences Dr. Seyed Alireza Marandi in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres slammed the Executive Director of the WHO's Health Emergency Program for his reaction to the Iranian Leader's rejection of inadequately tested vaccines, and expressed his nation's concern over a possible WHO biased approval of American technology.

"While the meaning of your silence and that of other human rights organizations in the face of these oppressive medical sanctions has never been clear to our medical community, what did the Executive Director of the WHO's Health Emergency Program mean when he responded to our Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's rejection of inadequately tested vaccines, by saying "Do not politicize this virus" during a recent press conference? For us, the failure of the UN and WHO to respond to inhumane US sanctions is what is "politicized." We are concerned that the WHO is biased in favour of inadequately-tested American technology, which could risk many lives around the world, in order to woo the US back into the organization," Dr. Marandi, a former Health Minister and lawmaker, said in the letter sent to the UN Secretary General on Monday.

"Nothing else explains why a senior WHO official would involve himself in the rational, measured and scientific determinations of a member state," he added.

Here is the full text of his letter:

United Nations Secretary General

His Excellency, Antonio Guterres,
Excellency,

In my 26 Nov. 2012 and 26 Jan 2013 and 21 Aug 2013 and 14 May 2019 and 2 April 2020 correspondence to the United Nations and the World Health Organization, I repeatedly emphasized that the oppressive sanctions of the United States and its Western allies have denied Iranians access to vital medicines and undercut their basic human rights. These debilitating sanctions have been imposed on us for decades, from the time of Saddam Hussein's imposed war on Iran, supported and armed (with both conventional and chemical weapons) by the United States and many Western countries - until the pandemic today. Covid-19 has hit all the countries of the world, some, like Iran, worse than others. But there has been no respite for the Iranian people who continue to endure brutal sanctions that deprive them of pharmaceutical materials and medical equipment. And there has been almost complete silence from western funded "human rights" organizations and international bodies who should be demanding Iranian access to medical relief during this global pandemic.

Excellency

Despite all these oppressive pressures, Iran has succeeded in significantly improving its health indicators over the past four decades, setting a development example for West Asia and beyond. With the help of primary healthcare networks and public assistance, Iran has ensured exponential advancement in healthcare for its population compared to similar countries that, unlike us, enjoy access to all the facilities and medical equipment they need. There is little doubt that if it were not for the oppressive US sanctions, Iran's coronavirus incidence of 1.2 million and mortality rate of 56,000 could have been much, much lower.

Excellency

While the meaning of your silence and that of other human rights organizations in the face of these oppressive medical sanctions has never been clear to our medical community, what did the Executive Director of the WHO's Health Emergency Program mean when he responded to our Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's rejection of inadequately tested vaccines, by saying "Do not politicize this virus" during a recent press conference? For us, the failure of the UN and WHO to respond to inhumane US sanctions is what is "politicized." We are concerned that the WHO is biased in favour of inadequately-tested American technology, which could risk many lives around the world, in order to woo the US back into the organization. Nothing else explains why a senior WHO official would involve himself in the rational, measured and scientific determinations of a member state.

Excellency

Iranian scientists have been working hard to produce corona vaccines that would have been produced earlier if not burdened by sanctions, and we are willing to provide our population with vaccines from any foreign source we believe is reliable. What we should be wary about is injecting people with mRNA vaccines produced in record time and based on technology never before licensed. The long term potential side effects are so unclear that even citizens of the United States will not be allowed to hold the companies or government legally responsible. Why would we purchase a vaccine from countries/companies that have not adequately proved either efficacy or safety, and then test them on Iranians - the same people who have suffered enormously under medical sanctions from these very same countries? We know very well that the vaccines produced with the new mRNA technology do not provide any guarantee of long-term efficacy without side effects, even as many scientific sources point to possible long term side effects, and that we are years away from obtaining the required data to pronounce it safe.

We are sovereign, and our decision to reject vaccines with dubious or inadequately tested technology, safety or trustworthiness issues is our inalienable right. We would appreciate if you would not further politicise our decisions, and support us by helping us access all the medical equipment, technologies, medications, and reliable vaccines necessary to handle this pandemic.

Yours sincerely,

Seyed Alireza Marandi, M.D.

President

Academy of Medical Sciences

Islamic Republic of Iran