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Bahram Einollahi, President Raisi’s nominee for health minister in his new administration, is among the Iranian medical professionals who this past January signed the notorious letter addressed to former president Hassan Rouhani opposing the import of foreign vaccines. The signatories specifically called for the rejection of vaccines of US and British origin, suggesting that they “can cause unknown and sometimes irreversible side effects.” The letter was written after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had already declared that the import of any foreign vaccines would be banned. Einollahi, an ophthalmologist, is a professor at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and has been working in the Revolutionary Guards’ Medical Division. Among the other signatories of the letter is Alireza Zakani, recently elected mayor of Tehran.

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