Iranian official backtracks after calling Chinese Covid-19 figures a ‘joke’

The Guardian – Comments from Kianoush Jahanpour draw reproach from Chinese ambassador

Iran’s health ministry spokesman has backtracked after he described China’s official figures on the coronavirus outbreak as a “joke”.

Kianoush Jahanpour made the remarks at a press conference and a tweet on Sunday, adding that China had given the impression that coronavirus was like influenza but with fewer deaths.

His tweet led led to a reproach from the Chinese ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, who said China’s health ministry had held a press conference every day. “I suggest that you read their news very carefully in order to draw conclusions,” the ambassador said.

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