Iran Peddles Chinese Propaganda And Conspiracy Theories About Wuhan Virus

Iran Peddles Chinese Propaganda And Conspiracy Theories About Wuhan Virus

Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei tweeted false conspiracy theories, first propagated by Chinese officials, claiming the Wuhan virus originated in the United States.

“You’re accused of having created #Coronavirus,” Khamenei tweeted on Sunday. He also suggested the United States is intentionally spreading the deadly virus. “You could be giving medicines that spread the virus or cause it to remain. Experience shows you can’t be trusted & you do such things.”

In a second tweet, Khamenei insinuated that the U.S. government lied about offers to provide medical aid and supplies to other countries suffering from the global pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China.

“The US govt has declared a few times that they are ready to help #Iran with medicines to fight the #CoronaOutbreak. That’s strange,” he wrote.

According to the Associated Press, he also alleged without any evidence that the virus “is specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians which they have obtained through different means.”

“You might send people as doctors and therapists, maybe they would want to come here and see the effect of the poison they have produced in person,” he said.

State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus denounced Khameni’s statements as 100 percent false. “If the so-called Supreme Leader were a true leader, he’d return the billions in his tax-free hedge fund back to the Iranian people to deal with the virus outbreak,” she tweeted on Sunday evening.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to Khamenei’s tweets Monday morning, saying his fabrications put Iranians, Americans, and the world at risk. Pompeo said Iran caused the virus to spread by ignoring its own health officials, and then lied about the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Iran.

Pompeo said the Iranian regime stole more than 1 billion euros intended for medical supplies, “and continue to hoard desperately needed masks, gloves, and equipment for sale on the black market.” Pompeo also dismantled the supreme leader’s claim about U.S. foreign medical aid, saying the United States has offered more than $100 million in coronavirus handouts to countries, including Iran, who “rejected American offers and spends 24/7 concocting conspiracy theories.”

With more than 23,000 reported cases (although it is suspected their numbers may be underreported), Iran has become one of the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic. On March 1, a private space technology company called Maxar Technologies took satellite photos of what appeared to be mass graves recently dug at a cemetery outside the city of Qom, Iran.

Vox reports the 100-yard trenches appear to be hastily dug to deal with a growing body count. “There’s even an image showing a big pile of lime, which Iranian health officials had previously said was being used to bury those killed by coronavirus,” writes Alex Ward.

As the authoritarian regime of Iran looks to hide their deadly missteps in handling the outbreak, it appears Khamenei is embracing propaganda originating with the Chinese Communist Party. Since the outbreak began in Wuhan in early January, Chinese officials have concealed information about the spread of the virus, silenced and punished Chinese doctors who tried to warn others, ordered the destruction of lab evidence, and claimed the virus originated in the United States.

Madeline Osburn is a staff editor at the Federalist and the producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Follow her on Twitter.
Related Posts