"If it were not for sanctions, barriers and restrictions by the Trump administration, purchasing of vaccines would certainly begin sooner, and that was the crime that the Americans committed against the Iranian people," Rouhani said as quoted by his office.
The president added that the national vaccination campaign would start in accordance with the country's strategy after the first batch of vaccines arrive in Iran in the coming weeks.
In December, Iran reserved 16.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX Facility, but failed to pay for them, as the US delayed Iran's transaction, leaving Tehran with no vaccines, according to the country's health ministry.
On January 9, Rouhani said that Iran developed a four-phased strategy of nationwide vaccination against COVID-19, with frontline medical workers and disabled people being among the first to get a vaccine. According to the Iranian Health Ministry, the country expects to roll out its first domestic vaccine by the spring and would try to purchase vaccines from Russia, China or India.