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Iran's First Vice-President, Three Minsters, Khamenei Aide Ill With Coronavirus

Es'haq Jahangiri, Iran's First Vice-President has come down with coronavirus (COVID-19)

Iran's Revolutionary Guard affiliated Fars News Agency on March 21 published a list of senior officials and politicians who have tested positive or died from coronavirus (COVID-19). First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri is included among those who have tested positive and in isolation.

Jahangiri had not been seen in public for several days and was conspicuously absent from the regular Wednesday morning Cabinet meeting. However, his condoling message for Mohammad-Reza Rah-Chamani, a veteran reformist politician and lawmaker, was published on the government website on Tuesday.

Two days ago, the Head of Public Relations of First Vice-President denied the rumors that Jahangiri has coronavirus and said he was present in his office and spoken to province governors across the country about the coronavirus situation. The Cabinet has yet neither denied nor confirmed the report by Fars News Agency.

Among other eye-catching names in the list published by Fars is the name of Mohammad-Javad Iravani, one of the influential men in Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's office. According to Fars he has been quarantined but his health is improving. Iravani is also a member of the Khamenei-appointed Expediency Council. Another member of the Council, Mohammad Mir-Mohammadi, died of coronavirus on March 2.

Three other cabinet members who have tested positive are Vice-President in Women's Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar, Cultural Heritage and Tourism Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan and the Minister of Industries, Mines and Commerce Reza Rahmani.

When questioned by the press today about the health conditions of Jahangiri and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour did not even include Jahangiri's name in the very general response that he made, leaving everyone guessing.

Iran is among the hardest-hit nations by the virus and so far even according to doctored official figures, at least 9,000 have been diagnosed with coronavirus and 354 lost their lives.

Five current lawmakers have the coronavirus and two representatives elected in February 21 parliamentary elections have died of the disease.