Exclusive: Iranian officials lied about sanctions hindering test kit import

Iran International has received documents that disprove the claims made by Iranian Officials about the lack of coronavirus test kits In Iran due to sanctions.

The documents seen by Iran International show that Iranian officials received the first offer to import test kits on Jan 25. 

On January 25, the “Fardavar Azma Iranian” company, which is the exclusive representative of the Swiss pharmaceutical company “Roche”, announced its readiness to import coronavirus test kits. Roche is one of the largest manufacturers of corona test kits in the world. “Rabet Amin International” and “Sidal Pars”, representing two South Korean companies, also announced their readiness to import test kits from South Korea on Feb 10 and Feb 15 respectively. There is no mention of sanctions as an obstacle to importing the kits in these companies’ responses to the Ministry of Health.

These documents also show that several Iranian companies received orders to import coronavirus test kits from December 24 until late February. Arina Life Science, Fardad Azma Rad, Pishgam Biotechnology, and Viragene are among the companies that have been importing test kits into Iran. 

On March 21 the Deputy Health Minister, Alireza Raisi, stated that there was a lack of coronavirus test kits in Iran before February 11. He also blamed the sanctions for hindering Iran’s ability to import coronavirus test kits.

Iran International has received documents that show the Passive Defense Organization Committee at the Ministry of Health held a session on January 25 to follow up on the orders to purchase coronavirus kits, and in this session, COVID-19 was referred to as “Corona Outbreak, A New Virus”.

Recent evidence that Iran International had previously published also disproves the claims made by President Hassan Rouhani about Islamic Republic officials being unaware of the coronavirus outbreak before Feb 19, and shows that in fact, they were aware of it weeks earlier.

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