Iran’s Coronavirus Response: Pride, Paranoia, Secrecy, Chaos

March 9, 2020

Nearly three dozen Iranian government officials and members of parliament are infected and a senior adviser to the supreme leader has died. The Health Ministry has proposed sending 300,000 militia members door-to-door on a desperate mission to sanitize homes. The top prosecutor has warned that anyone hoarding face masks and other public health equipment risks the death penalty. Iran’s leaders confidently predicted just two weeks ago that the coronavirus contagion ravaging China would not be a problem in their country. They even bragged of exporting face masks to their Chinese trading partners.