While the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of nearly 200,000 Iranians, the IRGC-run medication mafia prevents the purchase of foreign Covid-19 vaccines.
These days while the world severely struggles to provide necessary doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to contain the health crisis, Iranian officials have launched a criminal trade.
In this respect, they insist on ‘domestic vaccines,’ which would not be achieved until the upcoming summer. More importantly, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its subordinates are the main beneficiaries of Iran’s medication industry.
Meanwhile, officials’ contradictory remarks have confused citizens. President Hassan Rouhani claims that the government is ready to purchase vaccines and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati lays blame on sanctions.
In CBI’s December 7 statement, Hemmati claimed, “U.S. sanctions do not permit banking transactions for purchasing the vaccine from COVAX.” In response, a COVAX spokesperson immediately rejected this claim.
“There is no legal barrier to Iran procuring vaccines through COVAX as the U.S. Treasury’s Office on Foreign Assets Control had issued a license covering coronavirus vaccine procurement,” the statement read.
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Two days later, Rouhani added, “The budget is ready for purchasing Covid-19 vaccines, there is a will and there is an order, but America is the obstacle.” However, a member of the Parliament (Majlis) unveiled officials have no will to purchase the vaccine.
On December 18, Speaking to Khabar Fouri website, Chair of the Majlis Health Commission Hossein Ali Shahryari revealed the government has yet to allocate the required budget to purchase Covid-19 vaccines.
“For now, there is no report on purchasing the Covid-19 vaccine. Until this moment, we have been able to provide the financial resources necessary and to transfer this money abroad,” he said.
Also, one news outlet had exposed that the government secretly imported credible vaccines for select officials and their relatives. In its December 14 edition, Aftab-e Yazd daily wrote, “We witness that coronavirus vaccines have been imported from credible countries and are used by officials, their children, and relatives.”
However, the IRGC, as the state-backed medication mafia in Iran, is the main barrier to purchasing Covid-19 vaccines. Using its expanded commercial empire, this mafia has taken Iranians’ health and lives hostage to fill their pockets.
The IRGC, its front companies, and affiliated institutions are managing at least 15 drug-maker and -distributer firms in Iran. These firms approximately supply all of Iran’s pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics. In this context, the IRGC would never refrain from windfall advantages of the coronavirus vaccine.
Therefore, finding the main obstacle for immunizing Iran’s society and containing the Covid-19 requires no extraordinary efforts and special investigations. The government-backed medication mafia, which tries to plunder citizens to fund its oppressive measures and adventure policies, is a virus far deadlier than Covid-19.