An Iranian cleric has told followers that COVID-19 vaccines turn people gay.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian made the comments on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, where he is followed by more than 210,000 people.

“Don't go near those who have had the COVID vaccine,” he said. “They have become homosexuals.”

(Related: Israeli orthodox rabbi claims COVID-19 vaccine might turn people gay.)

The Shia cleric is known for his opposition to academic medicine.

Early on in the pandemic, he suggested applying violet oil to the anus as a cure for COVID-19, AI-Monitor reported.

Iranian dissident Sheina Vojoudi told the Jerusalem Post that Tabrizian is trying “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.”

Iran has had nearly 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 and nearly 60,000 deaths.

According to Human Rights Watch, gay sex is illegal in Iran.