Iranian President Blames US Sanctions for Delayed General Vaccination against Coronavirus
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the US cruel sanctions hampered his government's efforts to import coronavirus vaccine to the country.
Rouhani said on Thursday that Iran had difficulty with purchasing COVID-19 vaccines though it had the money in foreign accounts, adding that the Iranian assets were blocked by the US administration.
He likened the US sanctions on Iran to a war in which all the chemical, microbial and nuclear weapons are used against targets, including both the residential and non-residential constructions.
“We are one of the first countries to place an order on time. The United States has blocked us and delayed the transfer of our money for a month or two. That’s why our turn in the COVAX complex is a little behind,” Rouhani said.
Today, the anti-Iran media continues to claim that Iran failed to deliver the vaccine to the people in a timely manner, while the countries that were able to provide acceptable number of vaccines are less than the fingers of two hands, he said.
Iran made a vaccine deal with a country but the Americans blocked it, the president said, adding that they came and put pressure on the companies that supply parts of the vaccine from abroad, and locked in 10 million doses of the vaccine that Iranian officials were supposed to import into the country.
He said that a small part of the 16.8 million doses of vaccines Iran has bought from COVAX has entered the country and the rest will also arrive in.
The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.
As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closures of schools and most universities have been extended until further notice.
Rouhani on September 12, 2020 blasted the US administration for blocking the country’s efforts to receive loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fight against coronavirus, saying that the American officials have forgotten humanity.
“We demanded the IMF for $5bln to assist us during the coronavirus outbreak for vaccine and medicine; all parties have voiced their agreement, but the US does not allow us to take the loan. They have distanced themselves from humanity to such an extent,” Rouhani said.
He added that even the friendly states whose banks are holding Iran’s money have been pressured by the US not to provide the country with access to its assets.
“History has not witnessed such a crime, as you may not find any other country that cannot withdraw money from foreign banks to purchase and import medicine for its people,” Rouhani said.
He, meantime, said that the Americans are angry with the Iranian government's appropriate management of the coronavirus outbreak despite the harshest-ever sanctions imposed on the country.