New US Sanctions Against Iran Include COVID-19 Vaccine Developer - Health Official

TEHRAN (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th January, 2021) Alireza Vahabzade, an adviser to Iran's minister of health, said on Wednesday that among the organizations slapped with sanctions by the United States was the developer of the first indigenous coronavirus vaccine.

The United States imposed a fresh batch of economic sanctions on Iran earlier in the day, hitting three individuals and 16 entities.

"The vaccine is beyond politics. But if a certain country says it will not buy a vaccine form the United States and wants to produce one domestically, its facility developing [the vaccine] gets sanctioned," Vahabzade said on Twitter.

Last week, Iran banned imports of COVID-19 vaccines produced in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Among the entities sanctioned by the United States was the so-called Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO). The US Department of Treasury said the organization controlled a large part of Iran's economy, including assets allegedly expropriated from political dissidents and religious minorities.

EIKO is a large organization, which includes, among other entities, the Barakat pharmaceutical group and foundation they have developed Iran's coronavirus vaccine COVIran. When clinical trials began in late December, the first volunteer to be administered a shot was the daughter of EIKO chairman Mohammad Mokhber, Tayyebeh.