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Iran Guards Commander Claims Machine Can Detect Coronavirus 100 Meters Away

Major General Hossein Salami, Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, makes an announcement about a coronavirus detection machine invented by the Guards' "scientists". April 15, 2020.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Commander Major General Hossein Salami on Wednesday said the IRGC has invented a machine that can detect coronavirus within a radius of about 100 meters.

The mask-wearing commander of the Guards who was accompanied by several other high-ranking officials announced the invention in a televised interview at the IRGC General Headquarters. Displaying the machine which consisted of several parts including a handheld detector with an antenna and a dish-like part, he said it has been tested in various hospitals and has a reliability rate of about 80%.

This video displays the coronavirus detection machine.

According to General Salami the antennae of the machine which contains "polarized viruses" that create a magnetic field will point towards coronavirus anywhere within a radius of 100 meters in five seconds. It can be used for mass screening as well as finding contaminated areas and people and can be developed further to detect other types of viruses, he said.

The machine dubbed "Mosta'an" – an Arabic loanword and one of Allah's names which means the one who is supplicated for help – will be mass-produced after obtaining required licenses with the help of the Health Ministry, General Salami claimed.

Iranian officials, especially military and security officers, have in the past often claimed scientific breakthroughs and inventions, which later did not appear as mass-produced items.

The device appears to be very similar to a fuel detector used by the Iranian law enforcement for detecting fuel in tankers concealed in large vehicles to prevent the smuggling of fuel out of the country.

General Salami's "polarized viruses" has become a new excuse for Iranian social media users to make jokes. The words translated as "polarized" here can also mean "bipolar" in Persian, so a Twitter user sarcastically asked whether the virus is very depressed sometimes and maniac at other times

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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.