Judiciary chief highlights need to boost country’s biological defense

TEHRAN, Mar. 16 (MNA) – Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi pointed to the need to increase the country’s power in biological defense.

“Boosting biological power is necessary given the current situation,” he said on Monday in a meeting with top officials of the Judiciary Branch.

Raeisi also praised the decision to free near 84,000 prisoners as a precaution to the outbreak.

His remarks come as some believe the COVID-19 outbreak in the country can be a form of biological warfare against countries such as Iran and China.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the Armed Forces to establish a special base to fight the outbreak in the country on Thursday. “Since there is speculation that this incident might be a ‘biological attack’, this measure could be also some form of biological defense drill, which would add to national power and strength [of the country],” the leader said.

Also, Head of Iran's Passive Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali said last week that “Of course one cannot say for sure that is a biological war but in fact, it has many features of a biological war,” while noting that further investigation is needed.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Army has started nationwide biological defense drills to increase readiness and boost efforts to contain the disease.

COVID-19 has so far infected over 171,000 individuals in more than 140 countries worldwide, causing 6,500 deaths and inflicting huge economic losses. Iran is one of the hard-hit countries with over 13,000 infections and 724 deaths as of Sunday.

MNA/ 4879787

News Code 156786

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