Iran approves Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for use

Iran has approved Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says, in a win for Moscow as it aims to bolster its geopolitical clout.

Iran, which is fighting the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak, has said it will only rely on vaccines made by Russia, India or China, while also working to produce a homemade shot.

After talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Zarif confirms Sputnik V had been approved, adding: “In the near future we hope we will be able to purchase it, as well as start joint production.”

A vial with Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in a medical room, in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this month banned the use of vaccines made by the United States and Britain, calling the shots “completely untrustworthy.”

Russia registered the shot — named after the Soviet-era satellite — in August last year, before the start of large-scale clinical trials, leaving some experts wary.

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