Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, one of the four Vice Presidents of Iran and the highest-ranking woman in the government, was confirmed as having the coronavirus infection and quarantined at home on February 27, 2020.
Ebtekar, was known to Americans as “Mary” during the Iran hostage crisis from 1979 to 1981. As a young revolutionary, she was a spokeswoman for the captors of the 52 Americans held at the United States Embassy.
Besides Ebtekar, six other high-ranking Iranian officials are also infected with the virus:
- Mojtaba Zolnour, a member of Parliament from Qom and head of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee
- Mahmoud Sadeghi, an outspoken member of Parliament from Tehran
- Iraj Harirchi, the Deputy Health Minister who had been leading the effort to contain the coronavirus
- Morteza Rahmanzadeh, the Mayor of a Tehran district
- Dr. Mohamad Reza Ghadir, head of Coronavirus Management in Qom and Director of the city’s State Medical University
- Hadi Khosroshahi, a prominent cleric and former Ambassador to the Vatican.
A search, revealed that Iran had total of 54 deaths from the coronavirus as of March 1, including Elham Sheikhi, who was in her early 20s, a professional athlete, and a member of the women’s national soccer team.
Source: New York Times, February 27, 2020