Rouhani says Iranian health authorities prevented foreign companies from including Iranians in trials
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani announced Saturday that Tehran will bar foreign companies from including Iranians in their COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine trials.
In his televised remarks, Rouhani claimed that unnamed overseas companies sought to hand the country test vaccine doses -- but the Iranian Health Ministry rejected their offers.
"Our people will not be a testing device for vaccine manufacturing companies," Rouhani said, as cited by Reuters, adding that the country will go ahead to procure "safe" foreign vaccines.
Pharmaceuticals regularly try to make sure their vaccine trials are international to confirm that they are safe and effective for people of different ethnical groups.
The statement came one day after Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that the country will not be importing vaccines by US- and UK-based companies.
He branded their inoculations as "untrustworthy," charging that London and Washington could in fact be looking to spread the disease.
The supreme leader said the country could procure the vaccines elsewhere, in a likely reference to Russia and China, who both rolled out their own vaccines.
Last month, Iran also began human trials of its own vaccine, developed domestically, while claiming that US sanctions hampered its efforts to buy vaccines abroad.