Iranian official calls for probe into US role in creation of coronavirus

'The US has been always [been] accused of having a role, either intentionally or accidentally, in the biological events, like the (outbreak of) Ebola'

A volunteer from Basij forces sprays disinfectant as he sanitizes a bus station, amid coronavirus disease fears, in Tehran, Iran (photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/ALI KHARA VIA REUTERS)
A volunteer from Basij forces sprays disinfectant as he sanitizes a bus station, amid coronavirus disease fears, in Tehran, Iran
(photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/ALI KHARA VIA REUTERS)
The Head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, has called for the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate the role of the US government in the creation of the novel coronavirus, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency.
Jalali told Tasnim that the US had the world's "biggest biological army" and has established 25 laboratories having biosafety levels 3 and 4 around the world.
The labs are not subject to any international monitoring, said Jalali, pointing to the use of biological agents in the Vietnam War.
"In fact, the US has been always [been] accused of having a role, either intentionally or accidentally, in the biological events – like the [outbreak of] Ebola – and the US is believed to have taken a deliberate measure [in creating coronavirus] with the highest probability," Jalali told Tasnim.
The Civil Defense Organization of Iran has set up task forces to study the outbreak, both inside and outside of the country.
"A fact-finding committee must be formed by the countries that are independent of the influence exerted by the other states, such as the US, in order to study the aspects of the subject," said the Iranian official.
Jalali also called for international monitoring of American laboratories and the closure of research biological laboratories that are exempted from international monitoring.
In March, Jalali told Iranian television that the coronavirus has "many of the relevant characteristics and traits" of a biological weapon, according to MEMRI. The Iranian official stressed the presence of American biological laboratories in areas surrounding Iran, adding that China and Russia also have similar labs.
Iran's Press TV claimed in March that the US and Israel were working together to wage biological warfare on Iran and may have engineered the virus themselves.

58,226 Iranians have been infected with the coronavirus and 3,603 have died due to COVID-19, according to John Hopkins University's Coronavirus Research Center.