Coronavirus ravages Iran all the way to the top

Iran is dealing with one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the new coronavirus, and the disease was quick to reach the top ranks of the government. Four current and former Iranian officials have died so far from coronavirus: a member of the Expediency Council that advises 80-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; an aide and mentor to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; a former ambassador to the Vatican; and a newly elected member of parliament. Iraj Harirchi, the deputy health minister in charge of the country’s coronavirus task force, has it himself, as does the head of Iran’s medical services. Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar—once spokeswoman for the revolutionaries who took 52 Americans hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979—says she’s sick with the virus, too.

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