Sep 25, 2020 12:25 UTC
  •  Iran, Russia discussing joint production of COVID-19 vaccine: Iran's envoy

Iran and Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia's sovereign wealth fund, have been discussing the joint production of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Iran’s ambassador to Moscow.

"We are holding talks, I spoke with the head of RDIF Kirill Dmitriev, our officials have held several rounds of consultations and we announced that we will co-operate," Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Kazem Jalali as saying on Friday.

Russia introduced Sputnik-V as the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine last month. Large-scale trials, known as Phase III trials, involving at least 40,000 people were launched in Russia on August 26.

Russian media reported earlier this month that batches of the vaccines have been shipped for use across Russia and that several countries have applied to acquire the vaccine.

It is not clear whether Jalali’s announcement about joint vaccine production with Moscow is related to Sputnik-V, however.

Iran has been researching the production of its own COVID-19 vaccine in the past few months.

Iran’s attempts to produce its own vaccine comes as illegal US sanctions on Tehran, imposed after Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, initially hampered Iran’s access to basic supplies needed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iran, however, managed to quickly develop its own mass production lines for medical supplies such as ventilators, test kits, masks and disinfectants.

Tehran, Moscow reject US snapback attempts

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov rejected Washington's “illegal” attempts to return United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iran during a meeting in Moscow on Thursday.

The two deputy ministers discussed the implementation and conservation of the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to Russia.

Zarif met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday and discussed bilateral affairs, the JCPOA and Syrian and Afghan developments.