People wearing protective clothing attend a funeral of a victim who died from the new coronavirus, at a cemetery in Ghaemshahr in north of Iran, May 1, 2020. (AP)

September 11, 2021

Iran’s new health minister has said on Friday that the Covid-19 death rate in the country is much higher than that of the Iran-Iraq war, which lasted eight years from 1980-1988.

Bahran Einollahi said that the Iran-Iraq war killed 230-240 thousand people, while Covid has killed 113,000 people in just 18 months.

The health ministry’s infections and death figures have been challenged by health professionals, the media and some politicians, who have accused the government of under-reporting Covid’s toll. Some have said that the real death figure could be three times higher that 113,00.

Iran is suffering from its fifth wave of the pandemic since early July that has brought the health system to the point of collapse. Daily infection rates have hovered around 30,000 cases a day and around 600 deaths for two months.

One major reason for the unrelenting pandemic wave is Iran’s failure to vaccinate a high percentage of its population earlier this year, when Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei banned American and British vaccines in January. As Covid cases and deaths have increased, he has become the target of popular anger as expressed on social media and street protests.

Before being appointed health minister, Einollahi supported Khamenei’s ban on Western vaccines. He now supports vaccination as the only way to stem the tide of the pandemic.

Iran International

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.