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Iran Calls Washington Post’s Report On ‘Mass Trenches’ Baseless; Can Tehran Be Trusted This Time?

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Iran has called the reports of mass trenches published Washington Post as fake, baseless and politically motivated. Earlier, Tehran had denied that an Iranian missile downed a Ukrainian airliner killing all 176 on-board, dismissing claims of a catastrophic bunder.

Later, under mounting international pressure and criticism, Tehran admitted that its military made an “unforgivable mistake” in unintentionally shooting down a Ukrainian jetliner.

Earlier, EurAsian Times, citing the New York Times, reported that satellite images of mass graves in the city of Qom were detected which signalled that many more people were killed due to coronavirus pandemic than what Tehran had admitted.

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

The pictures, first published by the New York Times, show the excavation of a new section in a cemetery on the northern fringe Qom in late February, and two long trenches dug, of a total length of 100 yards, by the end of the month.

As per the initial reports, the trenches validate the worst apprehensions about the extent of the pandemic and Tehran’s consequent cover-up. On 24 February, at the time the trenches were being dug, a legislator from Qom blames the health ministry of concealing facts about the scale of the outbreak, saying there had already been 50 deaths in the city, at a time when the ministry was claiming only 12 people had died.

The deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, held a press conference and categorically rejected the accusations, but he was clearly sweating and coughing as he did so. The next day, Harirchi confirmed that he had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

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Iran, responding the US media reports, states that the Washington Post has turned to publishing fake news about Iran’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, claiming that Tehran has dug mass “burial pits” for victims.

The report by PressTV lambasting the Washington Post states that the US media house has deliberately published a series of politicized reports about the coronavirus epidemic in Iran. The report cites dubious reports and videos circulating over the internet about Iran covering up its coronavirus deaths, says the Iranian media.

The Iranian media, citing some random tweets, states that – many observers have been prompt to point out discrepancies and flaws in the report, with some highlighting the unethical reporting used in the article; using hyped expressions such as “seen from space” to portray a false image of mass graves.

The report says social media observers have pointed that the overall length of the purported 100 yards of “burial pits” in the satellite images cannot accommodate more than about 75-100 graves, not significantly higher than the official death toll announced for the city.

Press TV calls the US  report as dubious and claims its sole purpose of tarnishing the image of Iran which is backed and supported by various foreign-funded anti-Iran media houses.

Clarifying the stance, the executive manager of Qom Municipality’s burial sites Seifoddin Mousavi said the graves had been planned before the outbreak as part of usual procedures in the cemetery. He emphasised that all the procedures in the cemetery are taking place according to global protocols.

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