Islamic Republic is strained on cash and needs money fast! The most available source of income, even easier than selling sanctioned oil, and the most valuable commodity nowadays, is COVID-19 vaccine! Economic Affairs and Finance Minister said in 11 months, from March 2020 to February 2021, the regime sold 10trillion Tomans of oil. But Islamic Republic has found a simpler way!
More than 6 months have passed since COVID-19 vaccination has begun in several countries. In December 2020, Islamic Republic Health Minister claimed millions of doses have been purchased from the COVAX program. Later on, the regime’s president and Saeed Namaki blamed the delay in importing vaccines on US sanctions and restrictions in sending payments, even though, WHO had clearly stated that was not the case and OFAC has exempted those transactions. Since then and until June 30, 2021, according to the Ministry of Health, 7,795,000 doses of vaccines have been imported from China, Russia, India and COVAX. Of those, 6,032,590 have been administered and only 1,596,507 have received both required doses to be considered “fully vaccinated.”
The kleptocrats in the Islamic regime began promoting nonexistent homegrown vaccines. On January 24, 2021, Secretary of National COVID-19 Task Force claimed by June 22, domestic vaccines production line with annual capacity of 100-150million doses will be ready! Jamshidi, at the time, stated 10 manufacturers are working on different vaccines to immunize Iranians. He also confirmed, “Till two weeks ago, $52million have been paid to COVAX,” contradicting other officials about sanctions restrictions!
Despite Iran being ravaged with four waves of coronavirus and the fifth one getting momentum dominated by vaccine-evasive, more transmissible Delta (Indian) variant, Islamic Republic prefers to prematurely approve COVIran Barekat instead of importing reliable, proven vaccines.
COVIran Barekat, which has not published any of its trials’ results so far and even its third phase of clinical trials is not over yet, is “developed” by the “Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order.” The foundation is under direct supervision and control of Ali Khamenei and his “office.” In the meantime, head of FDA confirmed previous reports about the high price of each COVIran Barekat, 200,000 Toman. According to “Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order” officials, 50million doses are to be produced by September, which translates to 10trillion Tomans, about $474million. That is equal to total Iran’s oil income in 2020!
But if the regime officials were to import the same amount of vaccines, Sputnik V or AstraZeneca which Naser Riahi, president of Iran Drug Importers Union, had estimated to be about $5 per dose, would have cost $250million or 5.3trillion Tomans, almost half.
That is what vaccines for only 25 million Iranians would cost. If the required 120 million dose is taken into account, that would be almost 2.5 times of the country’s annual income from oil sale, 24trillion Toman, or $1.14billion! Considering the foundation is exempt from tax, it is safe to assume the entire amount would be doled out among IRGC members and spent on terrorism activities of the “resistance axis” in the region!
In addition to not importing vaccines and blaming it on farce excuses, Ali Khamenei, the “Supreme Leader” of the Islamic regime, also banned US and UK made vaccines in January 2021 to seal the win for his pocket!
Another vaccine which regime officials have claimed to be “manufactured” in Iran is the Russian Sputnik V, which even the majority of Russians do not trust to use. On June 26, 2021, Saeed Namaki in a hyped up ceremony and with bold claims, inaugurated the “production line of Iranian Sputnik V,” at Actoverco. A company which is connected to himself and seems like Mr. Health Minister is a major beneficiary in the “homegrown vaccine” charade! Today, however, Sazandegi daily newspaper learned that Namaki has been lying and the production of Sputnik V in Iran is only experimental and cannot be mass produced. According to the report, that could take at least another 2 months.
This is beside the point that the “domestic” vaccines’ efficacy is not even close to reliable global vaccines such as Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. But, the profit for the gang of Ayatollahs is worth sacrificing thousands of Iranians! According to Mahboubfar, more than 300,000 have died of COVID-19 in Iran so far.