Iran on 'Warlike' Footing as Senior Leader Admits He Has Coronavirus

Iranian Firefighters disinfect streets in the capital Tehran in a bid to halt the wild spread of coronavirus
Iranian firefighters disinfect streets in the capital Tehran in a bid to halt the wild spread of coronavirus / Getty Images
March 16, 2020

Iranian forces have taken a "warlike" posture across the Islamic Republic as another of Tehran's top political figures admits he has contracted the coronavirus, according to reports in Iran's state-controlled media.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been infected with the coronavirus and is now in isolation, according to reports in Iran's state-controlled press outlets. Velayati is one of many top Iranian officials to contract the virus since it began spreading across Iran. Several Iranian officials have already died as a result of the illness.

The situation in Iran has rapidly deteriorated over the past several weeks and prompted the country to galvanize a military response to stymie the virus's spread.

Iranian forces affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have now taken a "warlike" posture across the country, officials said.

"All provincial units of IRGC along with medical science universities are really in a warlike arrangement," Major General Hossein Salami said Monday during a videoconference with IRGC leaders.

These military forces are working to disinfect areas and move infected individuals into makeshift quarantine facilities.

"I assure people that we can defeat this virus by preserving unity and resistance provided that people would stay at home and follow the hygienic requirements," Salami said.

Official estimates issued by Iranian officials put the number of coronavirus infections at nearly 15,000, though the true number is likely much higher. At least 853 have died.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah offered a message of support to Velayati on Monday.

"When ministers, senior officials, and doctors in Iran accept responsibility and official figures have been infected with coronavirus, it means that they and their families have not fled elsewhere for safety," the Hezbollah leader said. "They are fighting against coronavirus alongside the people, and this is an honor for them."

Reports from the region allege that Nasrallah also has contracted the coronavirus. The terror leader has self-quarantined since meeting with Hezbollah operatives who tested positive for the sickness.

Published under: Coronavirus , Iran