Adviser to Iran's Foreign Minister dies from coronavirus

Hossein Sheikholeslam becomes the third Iranian government figure to die as a result of COVID-19.

Elad Benari ,

Coronavirus positive
Coronavirus positive

Hossein Sheikholeslam, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, died of coronavirus on Thursday, Russia Today reports.

He becomes the third government figure to die from the virus which has infected thousands in Iran.

Sheikholeslam, whose previous political posts have included ambassador to Syria and assistant to the parliament speaker for international affairs, first rose to prominence in the country while still a student for his role in the US-Iran hostage crisis.

He died on Thursday in Tehran’s Masih Daneshvari Hospital, according to Russia Today.

The coronavirus epidemic has hit Iran hard. Some 23 lawmakers have tested positive for the illness, including the head of emergency medical services.

Other high-profile deaths include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, and a newly-elected member of parliament.

Schools and universities have been closed until March 20 as of Thursday, and Parliament suspended its session at the end of last month “until further notice.”

Some 3,513 Iranians are said to be infected with coronavirus, while at least 108 have died.