Senior Iranian government official has died from coronavirus

An employee disinfects metro trains against the coronavirus in Tehran.
Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi / AP / Shutterstock / Ebrahim Noroozi / AP / Shutterstock

A 71-year-old senior adviser to Ayatollah Khomeini has died after falling ill with the coronavirus, the latest sign Iran is struggling to contain the outbreak less than two weeks after its first case was announced.

Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a member of the Opportunity Council, died on Monday, state radio said. Her mother had also previously died of the coronavirus.

Mirmohammadi is not the only powerful member of Iranian society to fall ill with the coronavirus. At least seven officials have tested positive for the virus, the Times reported at the end of last week, including the most senior woman in the Iranian government, a newly elected lawmaker and the government official responsible for the coronavirus response, who appeared visibly ill at a press conference last week.

The Iranian government announced on Monday that there was 1,501 confirmed cases in the country and 66 people have died. This is the highest number of coronavirus deaths outside of China. Officials also said Monday that hundreds of thousands of troops were ready to be mobilized against the outbreak. They would be sent across the country to clean up the city’s streets and find people who may have come into contact with people who are already sick, Health Ministry spokesman Ali Reza Raisi said.

On Monday, it became clear that the epidemic in Iran is spreading the virus across the Middle East. Cases in Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates have all been linked to Iran.

As Iran struggles to contain the outbreak, the United States has reportedly offered to help. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi dismissed it, saying the United States had “created widespread pressure on the Iranian people and even closed the door to buying drugs and medical supplies. “, and called the offer of help a” ridiculous claim and a political-psychological issue. “

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