Real Iran Virus Figures Hidden from Public, Leaker Reveals
Coronavirus figures in Iran are triple the ones officially reported by the government, leaked documents reveal. The monumental cover-up was exposed in a series of damning files leaked to the BBC by an unnamed source within Tehran, which shows that the actual number of deaths is nearly 42,000, not 14,400 as reported by the Iranian Health Ministry. The number of current diagnosed COVID-19 cases is over 451,000 and not 279,000 as the government claims. The leaks also reveal that the first death caused by the virus occurred a month before the first coronavirus case was officially reported. In that span, 52 Iranians had already died from the outbreak. On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed the coronavirus pandemic with Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart. According to Zarif’s Twitter account, the two high-ranking officials of governments that are bitter regional rivals exchanged Eid al-Adha greetings over a video call and chatted about “bilateral, regional and global” issues. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are US allies in the Persian Gulf and have long opposed Iran’s aggressive overtures in the Middle East, as well as its push for a nuclear weapon.