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Iran officials defend ban on US, UK COVID vaccines

Iranian officials have said they will begin vaccinating their population in the spring and do not have confidence in Western vaccines.
A handout picture provided by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on October 24, 2020, shows him wearing a protective face mask as he gives a speech in the capital Tehran during a meeting of the national staff to discuss the issue of the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. (Photo by - / KHAMENEI.IR / AFP) / XGTY / === RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / KHAMENEI.IR" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS === (Photo by

After Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated publicly that Iran would ban any Western vaccine for the coronavirus, a number of officials have come to his defense over the decision.

On Jan. 8, Khamenei said he had already informed Iranian officials that vaccines from the United States and the United Kingdom have been banned. He said he has “no confidence” in the vaccines produced in those countries and claimed that if they were so effective the countries would not be experiencing such a difficult time with the virus. Khamenei also referenced a bitter experience for Iran when they imported blood from France that was tainted with HIV, while claiming that Western vaccines are not reliable.

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