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Iran's top judge cites US history of dangerous tests after Japan halts jabs

In this file picture, medical staff prepares Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to be administered at the newly-opened mass vaccination center in Tokyo, Japan, on May 24, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Iran’s Judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei has reacted to Japan’s decision to suspend the use of more than 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine produced by American pharmaceutical company Moderna following reports of contaminated vials, stating that the United States has a long record of running dangerous medical tests on world nations.

“The dispatch of over 1.5 million doses of the contaminated American vaccine to Japan, and detection of suspicious foreign substance [in dozens of vials of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine] is a matter of concern to the entire world,” Mohseni-Ejei wrote in a post published on his Twitter page on Saturday.

“The United States has a history of carrying out numerous dangerous drug trials on peoples around the world. People's lives must not be put in jeopardy under the influence of [US] mendacity and propaganda campaign.”

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said on Saturday that two people had lost their lives after receiving contaminated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shots.

The ministry said in a press release that the men in their 30s died this month within days of receiving their second Moderna doses.

Each of the victims reportedly had a shot from one of three manufacturing lots, whose use has been suspended. The cause of the deaths is still being investigated.

Japan halted the use of 1.63 million Moderna doses shipped to 863 vaccination centers nationwide, more than a week after the domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical, received reports of contaminants in some vials.

The contaminant is believed to be metallic particles, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing health ministry sources.

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