The BBC says its Persian Service has received leaked documents from an anonymous source indicating that Iran is not being truthful with its COVID-19 data.
For example, the BBC says COVID-19 deaths in the Middle Eastern country are nearly three times what Iran claims — 42,000 deaths by July 20, but the Health Ministry reported 14,405.
Similarly, the infection rate was twice as large. The Health Ministry reported 278,827, but the documents the BBC obtained recorded 451,024 infections.
In addition, the first COVID-19 death in Iran happened on January 22, according to the BBC-obtained medical records. Iran, however, did not report a COVID-19 death until almost a month later.
With or without the statistical cover-up, the BBC says Iran remains the hardest hit country in the Middle East for COVID-19 infections.
The anonymous source told the media conglomerate that it was sharing the documents to “shed light on truth” and to end “political games” surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.