Iran’s Interior Minister Abdulreza Rahmanifazli said that the coronavirus outbreak may have contributed to record low participation rates in Iran’s Feb. 21 parliamentary elections. It was one of the first official acknowledgements that the virus, which originated in China, is impacting the country.
During the Feb. 21 press conference, Rahmanifazli was asked why there was no quarantine, particularly in Qom, where the virus seems to have first popped up in Iran. Rahmanifazli said that the decision was the Health Ministry's purview. When asked why the Interior Ministry did not postpone the elections when the outbreak of the highly infectious virus was first announced, he said that such a move would have delayed the formation of the new cabinet.