CBI Governor: Prepayment for COVID-19 Vaccines Finalized

Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati announced that the country has finally made a prepayment for purchasing COVID-19 vaccines.

Hemmati pointed out that the prepayment for 16.8 million doses of vaccines from COVAX, an initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), had taken place in the first day after the New Year (January) holidays.

The CBI chief described the provision of the funds to the WHO agent in Switzerland as a complicated operation because it had to bypass the US sanctions on Iran and its access to the dollar system.

"CBI’s international affairs department, two Iranian banks and three European banks had contributed to the operation to finalize the prepayment," said Hemmati.

Iranian authorities have repeatedly criticized the United States for its inhuman way of pressuring Iran economically as the US sanctions have effectively barred Tehran from accessing critical drugs and medical equipment it needs to battle one of largest outbreaks of the coronavirus in the Middle East.

While pursuing a home-grown program to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, Iran has allocated funds needed for imports of abundant supplies of vaccines from abroad.

However, Washington has blacklisted the entire banking system in Iran, making it extremely difficult for the country to settle payments that should be processed within the international banking system.

In a relevant development earlier on Tuesday, Hemmati on his Instagram post did not elaborate on the amount of prepayment made for the supply of 16.8 million doses of COVAX vaccines to Iran. He, however, reiterated that the CBI had more funds ready for purchase of other types of COVID-19 vaccines if the Iranian health ministry authorizes those vaccines for use inside the country.

News Code 192672

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