News ID: 89846
Publish Date : 02 May 2021 - 21:49

TEHRAN (Dispatches) – The Iranian Red Crescent Society on Sunday took delivery of the largest shipment of the coronavirus vaccine that the country has imported since the outbreak of the pandemic in February 2020.
The consignment, including one million doses of vaccine, has been provided by the Red Cross Society of China, IRCS Secretary General Muhammad Hassan Qosian said.
The cargo reached Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Sunday morning.
Iran has already granted emergency use authorization to Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, Covaxin made by India’s Bharat Biotech, Oxford/AstraZeneca developed by Russia’s R-Pharm Group, and the AstraZeneca-SKBio made in South Korea.
More than 889,000 Iranians have received the first dose of coronavirus vaccine so far, mainly health society personnel and the elderly above 80.
Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said Sunday Iran will use its funds blocked in neighboring Iraq to purchase vaccines from Russia against the COVID-19 disease.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with visiting Iraqi Electricity Minister Majid Mahdi Hantoush in Tehran, Ardakanian said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has ordered that the money needed for buying COVID-19 vaccines be provided from funds held in different parts of the world.
"According to an agreement between Iran and Russia, part of Iraq’s debt to Iran will be spent on purchasing Russian vaccines,” the minister said.
Ardakanian said necessary arrangements with Baghdad and Moscow have been made and "we expect that the first payments will be made in the coming days.”
Iran has billions of dollars in a Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) account which processes Iraq’s payments for imports of natural gas and electricity from Iran.
However, the funds have been frozen because of the U.S. sanctions on Iran which restrict the use of the dollar for transactions involving Tehran.
The inhumane U.S. sanctions have seriously hampered the Islamic Republic’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 2,516,157 Iranians and killed 72,090 others.
On Sunday, the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) announced that it has imported the largest consignment
 of COVID-19 vaccines from China.
"This consignment of one million doses of the coronavirus vaccine arrived today at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport,” said IRCS Secretary-General Mohammad Hassan Ghosian Moghaddam.
Other than importing reliable foreign vaccines, Iran has developed its own vaccines which are currently in the last phases of human trials.
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