At least 17 Iranian regime figures have died from coronavirus and 12 others have been infected since the beginning of the outbreak in the Islamic Republic, according to reports by state media outlets.
As of Tuesday, 1,934 in Iran have died from the coronavirus, and there are 24,811 confirmed cases.
Habib Barzegari, a founding member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), died of coronavirus, state media reported on Tuesday.
Former Iranian lawmaker Hamid Kahram also died from coronavirus, state media reported on March 19.
Kahram was the head of current Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s campaign in Khuzestan province during the 2017 presidential election.
Ayatollah Hashem Bathaei-Golpaygani, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, also died from coronavirus, the official IRNA news agency reported on March 16.
Iran’s Assembly of Experts is a clerical body that supervises, appoints and in theory, can sack the Supreme Leader.
Bathaei-Golpaygani had blamed the coronavirus outbreak on the US prior to his death.
“In my opinion, America is the source of coronavirus … American soldiers produced and spread the virus in China,” he said in a speech on February 22.
Senior IRGC commander Nasser Shabani also died from coronavirus, the IRGC said on March 13.
In an unusual admission, Shabani had explicitly said in August 2018 that the Houthi militia carried out Iran’s orders by attacking two Saudi tankers in Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
“We told the Yemenis to attack the two Saudi tankers, and they attacked,” Shabani was quoted as saying by several Iranian state media outlets.
Hossein Asadollahi, another senior IRGC commander, is suspected to have died from coronavirus.
Several state news agencies reported on Saturday that Asadollahi died of “chemical injuries” sustained during the eight-year-long war with Iraq (1980-1988).
Some Iranian exile run media outlets however reported that Asadollahi died of coronavirus.
According to official statistics, 150,000 in Iran have lung injuries from exposure to chemical weapons during the war with Iraq.
These individuals are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.
Other notable confirmed deaths from the virus in the Iranian regime include former ambassador to Syria Hossein Sheikholeslam, former lawmaker Mohammadreza Rahchamani, lawmakers Fatemeh Rahbar and Mohammad Ali Ramezani, Expediency Council Mohammad Mirmohammadi, and former ambassador to the Vatican cleric Hadi Khosroshahi.
The virus has also infected at least 12 regime figures in Iran, according to reports by state media outlets.
Iran’s first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri is one of the infected officials, according to a report by the semi-official Fars news agency on March 11.
Fars reported on the same day that Tourism Minister Ali Asghar Mounesan and member of the Expediency Council Mohammad Ali Iravani have also been infected with the coronavirus. Iravani is also a member of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office.
The virus has also infected Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, Minister of Industry Reza Rahmani, and former Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi.
Several lawmakers have also been infected, including Mojtaba Zolnour, Zohreh Elahian and Masoumeh Aghapour Alishahi.
Several other regime figures have been infected and killed by coronavirus in Iran.