Coronavirus: Iran investigating if COVID-19 was US biological attack, says official
Iranian scientists are investigating whether the coronavirus outbreak in the country could be the result of a US biological attack, said an Iranian military official on Sunday, referring to a widely debunked conspiracy theory which has been voiced by several other Iranian officials.
The number of coronavirus cases in Iran increased rapidly in late February, with the outbreak centred on the city of Qom. While the virus is widely agreed to have spread from China to the world through human-to-human contact and along popular travel routes, several Iranian officials have publicly entertained the theory that the virus was a biological attack by the US.
Every country is investigating whether the coronavirus outbreak is a form of biological warfare, said the head of the health department of the general staff of the Iranian armed forces Hassan Araghizadeh.
“Scientific centers in Iran are also studying this matter, but confirming this theory is no easy task,” Araghizadeh told the semi-official Mehr news agency.
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Newly uncovered documents reveal that #Iran’s regime, in its desperation to achieve a bigger voter turnout in the parliamentary elections, covered up news of the #coronavirus outbreak for at least three days. Here are the details: https://t.co/UNZmdzIy4m pic.twitter.com/FmQqcjgVsc— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) March 26, 2020
Iranian officials blame US for COVID-19
Several high-ranking officials within the Islamic Republic have blamed the US for the spread of coronavirus.
Supreme Leader Khamenei said on March 22 that the US is “accused of producing the virus.”
Hossein Salami, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said in early March that the outbreak may be due to a US “biological attack” on Iran.
Some other officials have also blamed Israel and Jews more broadly for coronavirus.
As of Sunday, 4,474 people in Iran have died from coronavirus, and there are 71,686 confirmed cases. By the same day, over 20,000 people had died from the virus in the US.