In a social network post on Sunday, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Abdolnaser Hemmati said while the purchases of the coronavirus vaccine should be made officially through the World Health Organization (WHO), Iran has faced obstacles in every single way that it has tried to make payments and transfer currency for the purchase of vaccine “because of the US government’s inhumane sanctions and the need for permission from OFAC”, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department.
“South Korea could not guarantee that the Central Bank of Iran’s fund will not be confiscated by the US government in the course of transaction of money via a dollar U-turn path for humanitarian purchases,” Hemmati added.
He also noted that the International Monetary Fund did not even dare to raise the issue of Iran’s application for a loan under the US pressures and threats, although there was no legal or economic obstacle to granting the humanitarian loan. Iran, however, is working on other ways for money transactions to buy the vaccine, he added.
In an interview with RT in September, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the US for impeding the Islamic Republic’s ability to fight the coronavirus, explaining that US sanctions have prevented the purchase of critical medical supplies.
The top Iranian diplomat noted that Iran also has “quite a bit of money stashed in countries abroad,” but that the US has prevented Tehran from gaining access to these funds, even to buy medicine.
Zarif lamented that, due to US sanctions, Iran could not use its “own money” to ensure access to coronavirus vaccines under development. Iran cannot even purchase doses of influenza vaccine, the foreign minister said.