Rouhani: US sanctions making it hard for us to purchase COVID vaccines

Iranian President blames US sanctions for making it difficult for his country to purchase medicine and health supplies from abroad.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that US sanctions are making it difficult for Iran to purchase medicine and health supplies from abroad, including COVID-19 vaccines.

“Our people should know that for any action we plan to carry out for importing medicine, vaccines and equipment, we should curse Trump a hundred times,” Rouhani said, according to The Associated Press.

He added that even simple transactions to purchase medicine from other countries had become extremely difficult and that it can take “weeks” to transfer funds.

Nevertheless, authorities are nevertheless doing what they can to buy vaccines from abroad, hoping to deliver them to high-risk individuals as soon as possible, said Rouhani.

The Trump administration has regularly enforced sanctions on Iran since 2018, when it withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but has ramped up the sanctions in recent weeks, when its efforts to extend a UN arms embargo on Iran did not succeed.

The US insists that medicines and humanitarian goods are exempt from sanctions, but restrictions on trade have made many banks and companies across the world hesitant to do business with Iran, fearing punitive measures from Washington.

Iran is suffering from the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the Middle East and has reported more than a million confirmed cases and more than 50,000 deaths.