Skip to main content

Coronavirus in Iran prompts fears of spread in Iraq

The outbreak of coronavirus in Iran prompted a wave of anti-Iranian sentiment among Iraqi protesters, who called for the closure of the border.

BAGHDAD — After Iranian health officials confirmed Feb. 19 that two elderly people had tested positive for coronavirus posthumously, Iraqis, wary of an outbreak, demanded that their leaders close the border with Iran.

​“According to recent laboratory reports, 13 people, including seven in Qom, four in Tehran and two in Gilan are confirmed infected,” Iran Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur tweeted Feb. 21. He stated that the outbreak originated in Qom and that two more people had died from the disease. Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA announced that Qom had closed schools and universities to prevent the spread of the virus.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.