Iran is returning about 820,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated to the country by Poland presumably because they were made in the United States.

In a letter to the Customs Administration released to media on Monday, the Health Ministry said the vaccines were from "unauthorized sources" without mentioning they were made in the US. But Fars news agency affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard claimed the vaccines were returned because the were US-made.

The Biden Administration last year donated about 60 million doses of AstraZeneca to other countries because they were never used in the US.

According to the document the health ministry ordered the customs administration to return the last consignment back to Poland.

The Polish embassy in Tehran said in October that Poland was donating a million AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots to the Islamic Republic.

AstraZeneca is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with its headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in Cambridge, England.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had banned the purchase of US and British-made vaccinesin January 2021, saying that "Importing vaccines made in the US or the UK is prohibited. They are completely untrustworthy. It is not unlikely that they would want to contaminate other nations… French vaccines are not trustworthy either”.

Health authorities, who have said the country is in its sixth wave of the pandemic, warn the figures are expected to increase exponentially during the next two months.

President Ebrahim Raisi has rejected proposals for a nationwide shutdown.

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