Imam Khamenei describes Covid-19 outbreak as Iran’s foremost issue
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Imam Ali Khamenei, says foreign providers of COVID vaccines initially reneged on their promises and refused sales to Iran, but changed course and started providing Iran with vaccines only after the country successfully managed to produce jabs against the deadly virus at home.
Delivering a televised speech on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei described the coronavirus outbreak as the country’s first and foremost issue.
Imam Khamenei called on the executives to double their efforts to procure vaccines, whether imported or domestically developed, and made them available to everyone.
“Fortunately, the production of vaccines within the country paved the path for the import of foreign shots as well, whereas before that, foreign suppliers would renege on their promises despite having received the payments,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader called on the people to display the same level of heightened sensitivity to safety precautions to curb the disease as they did when the pandemic first began “so that their lives and those of others would not be endangered.”
He stressed that frontline health workers, who have been working under immense pressure since the pandemic began, need a slight break from the strain, which will be provided if people strictly follow safety protocols for a couple of months.
Until then, he said, vaccines will also have been made fully available to everyone, and even though the pandemic will not have gone away, the crisis and the fatalities will have subsided.
The Leader also pointed to the arrival of the lunder month of Muharram, which coincides with the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia imam, advising the people to meticulously and thoroughly observe COVID safety guidelines while attending the mourning rituals and ceremonies observed during this time.
Ayatollah Khamenei hailed an initiative by President Ebrahim Raeisi to set a one-week deadline for proposals on a comprehensive national response to the current peak of the outbreak. “At the designated time, the response to the issue should be carefully weighed, and any necessary measures adopted and enforced accordingly,” he said.