Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that US sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programme are continuing to hamper the import of coronavirus vaccines.
“We order the vaccines, also pay for them, but before importation we are told that the manufacturers are still afraid of the US sanctions,” dpa news agency quoted the President as saying.
He added that this caused delays or even cancellations.
“This economic terrorism that (former US President Donald) Trump has imposed on us is still going on.”
Despite the end of Trump’s term, Iran is still facing trade issues, especially concerning the vital Covid-19 vaccines, Rouhani said without providing further details.
In 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 22015 nuclear agreement, designed to restrict Iran’s nuclear activities, and imposed new economic sanctions against the country.
Since Joe Biden came to the White House, there have been signs of possible negotiations on a US return to the agreement, but Tehran had also hoped that he would lift at least part of the sanctions.
However, this hasn’t been the case, Rouhani said.
“Therefore, while we are trying everything we can to get the mass vaccinations done as quickly as possible, not everything is within our control,” he added.
Iran has recorded over 62,000 Covid-19-related deaths and more than 1.8 million coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic.
So far, the country was able to import about 2 million vaccine doses from Russia, China and India, enabling vaccinations mainly in the healthcare sector.