Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran hoped to start the purchases and start joint production of the photo “in the near future”.
Iran has approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and plans to both import and produce it, giving the worst-affected country in the Middle East a tool to tackle the spread of COVID-19, the minister said of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“The Sputnik V vaccine was also registered and approved yesterday by our health authorities,” Zarif said during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday in Moscow.
“In the near future, we hope to be able to purchase it, as well as start joint production.”
Tehran had said earlier that it would wait for World Health Organization approval of the Russian jab before buying it.
Iran has also said it will only rely on vaccines made by Russia, India or China, while also working to produce a homemade vaccine.
Earlier this month, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, banned the government importing vaccines from the United States and the United Kingdom, which it said without evidence may be seeking to spread the infection to other countries.
Twitter deleted a post from Khamenei’s account that claimed the US and UK vaccines were “totally untrustworthy,” claiming the post violated the platform’s rules against disinformation.
Russia recorded the shot – named after the Soviet-era satellite – in August last year, before large-scale clinical trials began, leaving some experts suspicious.
The developers of Sputnik V have since said that the vaccine is over 90% effective and several countries outside of Russia have started administering it, including Argentina.
Last week Russia filed for registration of Sputnik V in the European Union, while EU member Hungary broke ranks and purchased two million doses of the vaccine before the bloc approved it.
Message to Biden
Meanwhile, an Iranian government spokesperson has urged new U.S. President Joe Biden to lift sanctions that he says are hampering Tehran’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since [Biden’s] The administration claims not to be anti-science like the previous one … it is expected to free up the transfer of Iran’s own foreign exchange resources to fight the coronavirus and for health and food , and quickly lift banking sanctions, ”said government spokesman Ali Rabiei. television.
Sanctions reimposed by former US President Donald Trump formally exempt food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies, but many foreign banks have been discouraged from doing business with Iran.
Iran has recorded more than 1.38 million cases of the coronavirus and 57,560 deaths since the start of the epidemic, according to government data on Tuesday, but there has been a drop in new infections in recent weeks.
Rabiei also threatened that Iran would block short-notice inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities by the United Nations atomic agency if the United States does not lift the sanctions.
In 2018, then-President Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Iranian nuclear pact with world powers aimed at limiting its nuclear program and reimposed the US sanctions that had been lifted under the pact.