Khamenei's adviser contracts coronavirus

Ali Akbar Velayati, top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, under quarantine after contracting COVID-19.

Elad Benari ,

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Reuters

A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been infected with the new coronavirus, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency.

“Ali Akbar Velayati, who also is the head of Tehran’s Masih Daneshvari hospital, had contacts with many coronavirus patients in past few weeks. He has been infected and is under quarantine now,” the Iranian news agency said.

Velayati becomes the latest high-ranking official to have contracted the novel coronavirus, which has hit Iran hard.

The Islamic Republic has seen several been high-profile deaths in Iran from the coronavirus.

These include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, a newly-elected member of parliament, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament who died on Saturday.

On Wednesday it was reported that Iran’s senior Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, and two other Cabinet members have contracted the new coronavirus.

Velayati is wanted for questioning in Argentina in connection with the bombing in 1994 of the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish center.

Velayati has threatened both the United States and Israel in the past, having vowed that his country would continue its ballistic missile tests, after the United States sharply criticized one of those tests.

In 2018 he said that Iran would maintain its involvement and presence in the region, in order to thwart the “plots” of Israel and the U.S.



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