KRG refutes Pfizer vaccine smuggled into Iran from Kurdistan Region
Zhyan News Network
SULAIMANI – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Health on Wednesday (April 21) refuted allegations regarding the smuggling of the doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine into Iran through the Kurdistan Region’s Sulaimani province following circulated rumors.
A video clip was published by BBC Farsi allegedly featuring a number of boxes containing the US-made vaccine and vaccination consent tickets bearing the KRG health ministry’s seal imported into Iran from the Kurdistan Region through smuggling.
Adviser to the Minister of Health on Kianoosh Jahanpour told the Iranian media outlets that “originality of the film could not be confirmed but the vaccines may have entered Iran as smuggled.”
“Our ministry’s supervising team immediately started a primary investigation, in cooperation and contact with the Iraqi federal health ministry and monitoring by their Excellency the Iraqi health ministry, the Kurdistan Region health ministry and the representative of the production company Pfizer,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said the rumors were “baseless,” after a primary investigation was made.
“The forms and seals of the Kurdistan Region’s health ministry are not used, because the vaccine had not been directly allocated to the Kurdistan Region but the Iraqi federal health ministry, thus the card, form and seal do not have an accurate and right source,” it said.
It also said that nine boxes of the coronavirus vaccines had been received by nine health centers in the Region and their delivery and the transportation to their destinations were under the auspices of the Pfizer pharmaceutical industry company.
The ministry also claimed that the news by the BBC aiming for “spoiling and creating anxiety among the people,” adding that “our probe and follow-up will continue to reach the cause and the source for creating this sedition.
Iraq has received two batches of Pfizer vaccine shots in April 11 and 18 and is slated to receive weekly consignments according to the federal health ministry and the Kurdistan Region has a thirteen percent share from the imported does.
“I followed up on this dossier. BBC is reliable and its information is interesting,” Kurdistan Region’s Lawmaker Ali Hama Salih said in statement. “The allegation saying it has been taken from the Sulaimani’s share is not right after I followed up on it.”
The lawmaker, who sits on the Change Movement (Gorran) bloc, said that he was informed by the health officials that three shipments including 1,700 doses had been sent to the Region by Baghdad.
“What is interesting is that the tape of the big postage company DHL has bene used.”