Though Iran has long been dogged with accusations that the Middle Eastern nation has been lying about the true number of coronavirus-related deaths, a new breach in its records appears to finally confirm the allegations.
According to the BBC, an anonymous source working within the Iranian government sent the news agency documents to show the extent of the cover-up.
One of the most staggering was the true number of deaths due to COVID-19, which were triple the official tally. As of July 20, the Iranian health ministry has claimed that 14,405 people died from the disease. However, internal data revealed that the number was actually 42,000.
Similarly, though Iran has claimed that there had only been 278,827 recorded cases in the country, the leaked documents showed that 451,000 individuals have been infected.
The leak also noted that the first death from COVID-19 occurred on January 22. However, Iran did not even acknowledge the first case of the virus until nearly a month later, on February 19. During those 28 days, 52 more people died from a disease that they did not believe was even present in the nation.
An anonymous Iranian doctor with knowledge of the situation claimed that part of the discrepancy was due to the fact that the health ministry had been both "in denial" about the dire state of affairs and under enormous pressure to paint a rosy picture of the situation by the government, especially since the security service had continued to claim that the virus did not exist in the country.
"Initially they did not have testing kits and when they got them, they weren't used widely enough. The position of the security services was not to admit to the existence of coronavirus in Iran," the doctor explained.
Moreover, the timing of the pandemic was happening shortly after many citizens in Iran had taken to the streets to protest both the administration and the struggling economy.
Dr. Nouroldin Pirmoazzen, a former MP who also was an official at the health ministry, added that authorities were nervous that the presence of a medical crisis would only make a volatile situation worse.
"The government was afraid that the poor and the unemployed would take to the streets," Pirmoazzen explained.
However, ignoring the crisis only worsened it, as even top officials succumbed to the disease.
Earlier this spring, satellite images revealed that cemeteries had been drastically expanded, seemingly confirming the rumors of COVID-19. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, the alleged burial sites are so large that they can be seen from outer space.