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An Iranian plane carrying 178 passengers landed Monday at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport despite the ban that was announced last week National News Agency reported,

An adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, state radio said on Monday.Mohammad Mirmohammadi, 71, was a member of the Expediency Council that advises Khamenei.

The Iranian plane was coming from the city of Mashhad a major epicenter of coronavirus

The virus started spreading through Iran last week, and by Monday at least 66 people were dead and 1,501 cases were confirmed, deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said on state TV. Raisi added that 291 people had recovered.

Iran has the most coronavirus cases in the Middle East, the most deaths outside of China — where the virus originated — and is in an ongoing state of economic crisis. US sanctions on the country have seen its currency tank and unemployment grow.

An adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, state radio said on Monday.Mohammad Mirmohammadi, 71, was a member of the Expediency Council that advises Khamenei. He is the latest Iranian official to contract the virus. One of the country’s top clerics, Hadi Khosroshahi, died last Thursday after he contracted the sickness. Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, who was heading the government’s task force on coronavirus, have also fallen ill, according to state media.

Lebanon banned flights from all major countries infected with the virus , but its government is completely controlled by the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group , which relies completely on Iran

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