Iran parliament speaker contracts virus as infections surge

Posted 10/28/20

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s parliament speaker said Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, joining a growing list of top Iranian officials infected in the Middle East’s worst …

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, subscribers will receive unlimited access to the website, including access to our Daily Independent e-edition, which features Arizona-specific journalism and items you can’t find in our community print products, such as weather reports, comics, crossword puzzles, advice columns and so much more six days a week.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Iran parliament speaker contracts virus as infections surge

Posted

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s parliament speaker said Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, joining a growing list of top Iranian officials infected in the Middle East’s worst outbreak.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf tweeted that he received the news after one of his colleagues tested positive for the virus. He said he would continue to carry out his duties from self-quarantine. Earlier this month, he was on state TV visiting a coronavirus ward in one of capital's overwhelmed hospitals to show support.

“I decided to appear in the hospital to see problems from a close distance,” Ghalibaf told local media from the ward in Tehran. “Supervising is the main duty of parliament.”

Iran emerged early on as a global epicenter of the pandemic and has struggled to stop the virus' rapid spread. The government, desperate to salvage an economy reeling from severe American sanctions, has been loath to order business closures even as infection rates reach new heights.

Iran's outbreak has reportedly killed over 32,000 people, the highest toll in the Middle East, and in a clear sign of its scope, dozens of top officials have fallen ill. At least 30 lawmakers have tested positive in recent months, according to local media, and a senior adviser to the country’s supreme leader has died. Earlier this month, the head of the country's atomic energy organization and the vice president in charge of budget and planning both contracted the virus.

Iran’s former parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, tested positive for the virus in April and returned to work after convalescing for three weeks. Ghalibaf took over his post in early June.

As infections surge, filling the country's hospitals and driving up its death toll, Iran’s parliament has continued to hold regular sessions. Lawmakers wear masks but tend not to practice social distancing. When President Hassan Rouhani decided to skip a parliamentary vote this fall out of concern for his health, he faced intense backlash from hard-line lawmakers who demanded he attend regardless.

The timing of the pandemic has proved disastrous for Iran's economy, which is buckling under U.S. sanctions re-imposed in 2018 after the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Comments