Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has placed a ban on foreign companies forbidding them from testing COVID-19 vaccines on Iranians.
Reuters reports that Rouhani placed the order on Saturday morning (today), a day after Iran’s Supreme Leader banned vaccine imports from the United States and Britain.
“Foreign companies wanted to give us vaccines so they would be tested on the Iranian people. But the health ministry prevented it,” Reuters quoted the Iranian president statement in a televised remarks, without naming the companies or giving further details.
“Our people will not be a testing device for vaccine manufacturing companies,” he added. “We shall purchase safe foreign vaccines”, the president added.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, had said on Friday that the U.S. and Britain were “untrustworthy” and possibly sought to spread the infection to other countries, adding that Iran could obtain vaccines from other reliable places without giving details. China and Russia are both allies of Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the coronavirus.
Iran launched human trials of its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidate late last month, saying it could help the country defeat the pandemic despite U.S. sanctions that affect its ability to import vaccines.