News ID: 301966
Published: 0116 GMT April 08, 2021

Rouhani blasts US for hindering Iran's imports of COVID-19 vaccines

Rouhani blasts US for hindering Iran's imports of COVID-19 vaccines

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani criticized the United States for blocking the country’s access to ten million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by pressuring the companies involved in the transferring of the vaccines to Iran.

“We have done what we should have done. We bought vaccines from India and we paid for it, but then they said ‘our Judiciary has gotten in the way and we cannot give you the vaccines,’” Rouhani said during an online ceremony on Thursday to inaugurate five national knowledge-based and innovative projects.

Pointing to the unprecedented US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, President Rouhani said Tehran’s general impression was that no country would target another country’s access to basic needs such as food and medicine with sanctions, but the United States, under former president Donald Trump, proved Iran wrong, Press TV reported.

“Trump dwarfed all the executioners of history as he started a war against the Iranian nation which had no boundaries, like a war that does not shy away from [using] chemical, microbial and nuclear weapons or [targeting] residential and non-residential areas,” he added.

The Iranian president further lamented that the “rebellious” and “lawless” US government has not eased its sanctions on Iran since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, hampering Iran’s efforts to buy n Under Trump, the US took several rounds of very hostile measures against Iran under a “maximum pressure” campaign Trump put into force to destroy Iran’s economy.

The sanctions, Iran has maintained on numerous occasions, have intensified the adverse effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran and hindered the Iranian government’s pathways to contain the deadly virus.

On Thursday, the Iranian Health Ministry said 185 more people had died of the highly infectious disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of recorded deaths from the virus in Iran to 63,884.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani explained that importing vaccines is not an easy job to do. He stressed, “This is not a simple matter. The administration, the Health Ministry and the Central Bank have taken all the necessary measures … and I stress that nothing comes before the issue of vaccines for us.”

The president noted that Iran has bought 16.8 million doses of vaccines via the World Health Organization’s COVAX global vaccine scheme, which is being gradually imported into the country.

Iran was among the front-runners in placing an early order to purchase vaccines, he said.

According to President Rouhani, Iran encountered numerous problems in transferring money to buy vaccines from the COVAX initiative. “We have money in foreign banks, but they are all frozen up by US sanctions,” he said.

Tehran’s Governor Anoushirvan Mohseni said on Wednesday that the Iranian capital city has been put under a partial lockdown that would last for two weeks to reduce the rising number of infections caused by the fourth wave of the COVID-19.

Mohseni added that businesses, schools and gathering places would close down after a red alert was issued for the capital city that indicates a rising wave in number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Iran’s Health Ministry spokeswpman Sima Sadat Lari announced on Thursday that the total number of COVID-19 deaths mounted to 63,884 after 185 more patients lost their lives from Wednesday to Thursday.

She added, during the past 24 hours, the total number of people testing positive for the coronavirus reached 2,006,934 after the detection of 22, 586 new cases, IRNA reported.

According to the spokeswoman, 2,493 newly infected people have been hospitalized in Iran over the said period.

Lari noted that 1,684,570 patients out of the total of 2,006,934 infected people have recovered or been discharged from hospitals.

She added among those currently undergoing treatment in the country, 4,221 patients are in critical conditions.

According to Lari more than 13.4 million coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in Iran.

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