Iran says US approved its funds transfer to buy COVID vaccines


The central bank of Iran says it received support from the United States to transfer money to a Swiss account to pay for the vaccines.

Iran has secured approval from the United States to transfer funds for coronavirus vaccines from abroad, the central bank governor has said as his daily death toll dropped to a low level of three months.

Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati said an Iranian bank had received support from the US Treasury Department for foreign stock controls to transfer the money to a Swiss bank to pay for the vaccines.

“The [Americans] has imposed sanctions on all our banks. They accepted this one case under pressure from world opinion, “Hemmati told state television.

There was no immediate American response to Hemmati’s remarks.

Hemmati said Iran would pay nearly $ 244 million. For the initial import of 16.8 million doses of the vaccines from COVAX, a multi-instrument group dedicated to ensuring fair access to vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.

Iranian officials have repeatedly said that the US sanctions prevent them from paying to COVAX, which approx. 190 economies have signed up.

Iran’s Shifa Pharmed began registering volunteers this week for human trials with the country’s first domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Iranian media reported as a factional conflict seemed to brew over the use of imports.

“We do not recommend injecting foreign coronavirus vaccines into the staff of the Revolutionary Guards and Basij [voluntary militia], “Iranian news outlets quoted Mohammed Reza Naqdi, a deputy leader of the hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told former state television that 152 people had died of COVID-19 in Iran in the last 24 hours, the lowest number since September 18, with 54,308 deaths in the hardest-hit country in Middle East.

The drop in deaths comes after more than a month of curfews at night and other restrictions in major cities. Police said 96,000 fines were issued nationwide on Wednesday for drivers violating the curfew.

Officials have warned that the danger of a resurgence of infections looms large.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers in 2018 and imposed new sanctions on the country.

The election of President Joe Bidens to power has raised the possibility that Washington could rejoin the agreement.

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