Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor Abdolnasser Hemmati said on Thursday that he had ordered transfer of 200 million euros from CBI funds in a foreign bank for purchase of coronavirus vaccines.
In an interview with the state TV, Hemmati said that the CBI had used two banks in Turkey and in Europe and a branch of an Iranian bank to transfer the funds from South Korea to a Swiss bank processing payments related to a vaccine scheme run by the World Health Organization.
He said that the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the US had granted a special permit to the South Korean bank to release part of the Iranian funds that have been blocked in the country because of US sanctions.
The chief banker said that the CBI would pursue the case "relentlessly" until the payment is finalized.
The announcement came a day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed unconfirmed reports suggesting that Iran may fail to make payments needed to obtain supplies of vaccines to battle COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.