A cleric in Iran, Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, has cautioned his followers against taking COVID-19 vaccination with claims that it changes people into homosexuals.
Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran and thousands of gay people have been put to death since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
The cleric made the shocking claims on Tuesday through his social media platform, Telegram, which has nearly 210,000 followers.
He was quoted to have said, “Don’t go near those who have had the COVID vaccine, they have become homosexuals.”
This is not the first time the cleric, who is popularly known as Ayatollah by his followers, has promoted a controversial information about western medicine and western cultures.
Last year, the totalitarian burned “Harrison’s Manual of Medicine” in a videotaped ceremony, claiming that “Islamic medicine” had made such books irrelevant.
Iranian dissident, Sheina Vojoudi, said, “Like other clerics in the regime, also Tabrizian relates all the shortages [shortcomings] to sexuality.
“The clerics in Iran are suffering from lack of knowledge and humanity. Actually, his goal of spreading nonsense is to try to scare people [out] of getting vaccinated, while the leader of the regime and other officials got Pfizer, and they don’t provide it for the people with the excuse that they don’t trust the West.”
Prominent LGBTQ campaigner, Peter Tatchell, stated that the teachings of many Iranian religious and political leaders, including Tabrizian, is informed by hatred and ignorance.
According to Tatchell, “He’s demonizing both the vaccination program and LGBT+ people without a shred of evidence. By seeking to scare the public into not getting vaccinated against COVID-19, he is fueling the pandemic and putting lives at risk.”
In 2019, an Iranian foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, defended the elimination of gay people to Germany’s public broadcasting network.
“Our society has moral principles. And we live according to these principles. These are moral principles concerning the behavior of people in general. And that means that the law is respected and the law is obeyed,” Zarif told Deutsche Welle.
In 2018 and 2019, Iran executed at least nine children, as the US ratcheted up sanctions after accusing the country of violating a 2015 nuclear deal.