- The Washington Times - Friday, February 28, 2020

At least 210 people in Iran have died from the coronavirus, marking a sharp spike from the original death toll of a few dozen previously given by Iranian health officials on Friday.

The staggering new assessment, revealed to BBC news by health care system sources in the country, comes as U.S. officials express concerns that Tehran has not been “robust” in sharing information about the spread of the disease.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said the U.S. has offered to help Iran manage the response to the coronavirus breakout in the country.

“We’ve made offers to the Islamic Republic of Iran and we make clear to others around the world and the region that assistance, humanitarian assistance to push back against the coronavirus in Iran is something that the United States of America fully supports,” he told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Iranian officials have publicly acknowledged at least a dozen deaths from the virus, but the death toll was believed to be much higher amid fears the government is covering up the extent of the outbreak.

“Their health care infrastructure is not robust, and to date their willingness to share information about what’s really going on inside of the Islamic Republic of Iran has not been robust, and I’m very concerned that Iran that is not sharing information,” Mr. Pompeo said.

Iran has at least 388 confirmed cases of coronavirus, marking the largest spike in infections of any Gulf nation.

Mr. Pompeo said that the U.S. “will bring to bear our diplomatic power and our capacity to deliver technical and medical assistance wherever we can.”

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