Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday banned the import of US and British-produced coronavirus vaccines, saying they were “completely untrustworthy.”
“It’s not unlikely they would want to contaminate other nations. Given our experience with France’s HIV-tainted blood supplies, French vaccines aren’t trustworthy either,” he said in a tweet accompanied by the hashtag #CoronaVaccine.
He was referring to a scandal in the 1980s in which blood infected with HIV was distributed in France, and later abroad, even after the government became aware of the problem, Agence France-Presse reported.
Hundreds of people in Iran were among those infected.
France’s then-Prime Minister Laurent Fabius was charged with manslaughter, but acquitted in 1999. His health minister was convicted but never punished.
The Islamic Republic has reported more than 1.2 million COVID-19 cases and over 56,000 deaths, according to the news agency.
Vials of Iranian domestic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccineReuters
It has accused the US of hampering its access to vaccines through