The spokesman for Iran’s Covid-19 taskforce says the country is ready to send medical personnel and vaccines to China if needed.
Abbas Shirozhan said in a series of tweets on Saturday that the Islamic Republic ranks 12 in the world in research related to the coronavirus and boasted about the low number of Covid-19 fatalities.
However, reports suggest that the number of Covid-related deaths in Iran is much higher than the official figure of over 141,000. Official records show that since the pandemic began in early 2020, deaths have been 300,000 higher than before, suggesting more Covid deaths that official figures indicate.
Covid cases have surged in China in recent weeks, with new strict quarantines enforced by tough government measures.
Shirozhan said the Iranian producers of vaccines are allowed to export their home-grown vaccines to other countries, while earlier in the month Iran’s national carrier Iran Air said Iraq does not allow entry to visitors who have received Iranian-made vaccines. Iran has approved at least six homegrown vaccines for production, although none have received international approval.
Iran itself was able to vaccinate most of its population only when China began shipping tens of millions of doses in August 2021. Iranian-made vaccines never reached a high level of production.
Tens of thousands died between June-September 2021, when the government was banned by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei from importing British and American vaccines on political grounds.