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Iran Armed Forces Suspend Conscription Of Soldiers Due To Coronavirus

Iran conscripted soldiers. Undated photo.

Iran's armed forces have postponed conscription of soldiers scheduled to start their two-year compulsory military service in the coming weeks until mid-April.

The Spokesman of Armed Forces Coronavirus Combat Task Force, Brigadier General Dr. Hassan Araqizadeh, on Monday announced the decision to delay new conscriptions for at least two months.

Those who will finish their training in a few days will remain in garrisons, Araqizadeh who is also the Healthcare and Treatment Deputy of Iran's Armed Forces Headquarters said.

Islamic Republic's armed forces include the regular army, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) and police forces.

Video from Chaloos in the north of Iran showing a soldier who has collapsed at a shopping center, purportedly due to coronavirus infection.

According to the Iranian Constitution, all men older than 18 years old must do between 18 months to two years of military service. The length of the military service for conscripts largely depends on the location of service. Soldiers serving in places of high security risk and deprived areas serve shorter terms.

Speaking to the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Monday the Head of the Healthcare Department of the regular army's ground forces, Brigadier General Dr. Behzad Moazeni said the army is taking all appropriate measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in garrisons. Moazeni said training courses and even group prayers have been cancelled.

According to Moazeni not even one case of coronavirus infection has so far been found in army garrisons. "We assure families, the garrisons are safer than the environment outside," Moazeni said.

Some social media users had warned about the spread of coronavirus to garrisons and the danger to the lives of their loved ones.

Deputy Commander of Iran's Law Enforcement, Brigarider General Ayyoub Soleimani on Sunday said all training facilities as well as police stations are sanitized regularly. "I can assure you that training facilities and garrisons are among the safest places," he said.

The Special Unit of the Police that has a reputation for suppression of protesters has been deployed since Sunday for sanitizing public areas in several Iranian cities including the capital Tehran in operations dubbed "Suppression of Corona".

According to the latest official announcements so far 66 people have died of coronavirus and 1501 have been infected.

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    Maryam Sinaiee

    Maryam Sinaiee is a British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National, who contributes to Radio Farda.