By Michael Lipin
WASHINGTON - Iranian state TV has shown images of worshippers ignoring government orders to wear face masks in mosques reopened by authorities in cities deemed to have contained the coronavirus.
In a TV report broadcast Tuesday by Iranian network IRIB’s affiliate in the southeastern province of Kerman, men and women were shown praying without masks in three of the province’s cities: Roudbar, Kahnouj and Manoojan. Only a mosque in Kerman’s Rigan county was shown in the report with all worshippers wearing masks.
Notably, the masked male worshippers in Rigan stood about half-a-meter apart, in accordance with another of the government’s guidelines to maintain social distancing while praying. Many Muslims typically stand shoulder-to-shoulder during group prayer as required by Islamic custom.