Iran will not import American Pfizer-BioNTech or Britain’s Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccines, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced Friday.
He used a televised speech to warn the import of American and British vaccines were “forbidden,” citing the surging death tolls from the virus in both countries as evidence for their rejection.
“I really do not trust,” them, Khamenei said of those nations. “Sometimes they want to test,” their vaccines on other countries, adding, “I’m not optimistic about France either because of their history of infected blood.”
Khamenei was referring to the French contaminated blood scandal of the 1980s and 1990s, however he affirmed the import of vaccines from other “safe” places, and remains supportive of Iran’s efforts toward producing a vaccine.
The country began testing its vaccines on humans December. The product is expected to hit the local market in spring.
Hardliners in Iran have long opposed the U.S-made vaccines, despite the