'Hossein Sheikholeslam, adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, has died of coronavirus, becoming the third government figure to perish in the epidemic which has infected thousands in Iran.
Sheikholeslam, whose previous political posts have included ambassador to Syria and assistant to the parliament speaker for international affairs, first rose to prominence in the country while still a student for his role in the US-Iran hostage crisis.
He died on Thursday in Tehran’s Masih Daneshvari Hospital.
The coronavirus epidemic has hit Iran hard. Some 23 lawmakers have tested positive for the illness, including the head of emergency medical services, and other high-profile deaths include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, and a newly-elected member of parliament. Schools and universities have been closed until March 20 as of Thursday, and parliament suspended its session at the end of last month “until further notice.”'
Read more: Zarif adviser & former envoy to Syria known for his role in Iran hostage crisis dies of coronavirus