This was all over the news last week:
A prominent Iranian cleric has said it is permissible to use a future coronavirus vaccine developed by Israel if “there is no substitute.”
The Iranian regime views Israel as a mortal enemy. But Iran has also faced one of the most severe outbreaks of the COVID-19 coronavirus outside its origin and epicenter in China.
“It is not permissible to buy and sell from Zionists and Israel,” Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi, 93, told the Iranian daily Hamdeli on Wednesday.
“Unless the treatment is unique and there is no substitute,” he added, “then this is not an obstacle.”
Shirazi, one of the highest authorities in Shiite Islam and a former member of the regime’s Assembly of Experts that appoints the supreme leader, is considered among the regime’s more hard-line ideologues.
Now, the same cleric denies ever saying those words, although he fell short of saying that he would refuse such a vaccine.
A top Shi’a cleric in Iran has denied approving the purchase of a possible anti-coronavirus vaccine from Israel, which Islamic Republic considers as its top enemy.
In a statement on March 14, the office of an officially-recognized “Grand Ayatollah”, Nasser Makarem Shirazi, reiterated that he was never asked about an anti-coronavirus vaccine produced by Israel.
“The Q&A on the subject never took place, and it is absolutely fake news,” the office asserted.
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