The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the country is doing its best to contain the deadly coronavirus pandemic, adding that Iran will only import vaccine from reliable countries, not those countries that are known producers of biological weapons.
Major General Hossein Salami made the remarks at a provincial meeting on the situation of the coronavirus pandemic in Iran, which was held on Monday in the central province of Isfahan.
“Under conditions caused by this disease, there were many people who wanted us to extend our hands toward enemies. However, we have no trust in them and we cannot trust our society’s health to those enemies, who have made production of biological weapons part and parcel of their strategy to confront their enemies,” the IRGC's chief commander said.
The top commander noted that Iran has taken steps to import coronavirus vaccine from reliable countries while, at the same time, doing its best to produce domestic vaccines.
Noting that paralyzing the Iranian nation is the enemies' biggest with, Salami added, “Even under conditions caused by the coronavirus, we must continue to boost the society's health status by relying on the principles of dignity, independence and trust.”
He emphasized that Iran is different from all other countries, because it is grappling with the deadly disease while being also under cruel international sanctions.
The IRGC chief emphasized that the country cannot use its money even to pay for medicine and meet its vital needs due to the sanctions.
“In addition to coronavirus [pandemic], we are also faced with international sanctions as well as enemies’ media and psychological operations. Such conditions do not exist at the same time at any point in the world,” the IRGC chief commander noted.
Iran has been fighting back against one of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world, with the harsh unilateral sanctions put in place by the US significantly hampering the country’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
The sanctions were imposed by the administration of former US President Donald Trump under a “maximum pressure” campaign and have been maintained by the current administration of Joe Biden, which has refused to soften the bans to ease pandemic-related hardship on Iranians.
Iranian officials have described the sanctions as “economic terrorism” and “medical terrorism” over their deadly impact on ordinary people.
As early as March 2020, when Iran was fighting its first COVID-19 wave, former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the international community to play its real role to stop the United States’ medical terrorism against Iran.
“The global community must come to its senses and help Iran in order to stop the economic, medical and drug terrorism [by the US],” Zarif wrote in an op-ed published by Russian business newspaper Kommersant on March 30, 2020.
So far, 102,648 people have lost their lives in Iran due to the coronavirus, with 610 deaths registered in the last 24 hours.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on August 11 that foreign providers of COVID vaccines initially reneged on their promises and refused sales to Iran, but changed course and started providing Iran with vaccines only after the country successfully managed to produce jabs against the deadly virus at home.
“Fortunately, the production of vaccines within the country paved the path for the import of foreign shots as well, whereas before that, foreign suppliers would renege on their promises despite having received the payments,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.