Iranian Media on Evolution of Coronavirus

In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, newspapers largely echoed officials who downplayed the danger. But some papers began to question the government’s slow response after the number of confirmed cases and deaths rose exponentially. “Why Wasn’t Qom Quarantined?” read the front page of Shargh, a reformist paper, on February 26. Qom was the epicenter of the outbreak. But conservative and hardline papers continued to warn against exaggerating the threat. Kayhan, a hardline paper, said that being “obsessed” with coronavirus was threatening Iran’s management efforts and economy. Newspapers traditionally stop printing for two weeks around the time of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which began on March 20. But the hiatus will likely be extended in 2020. On March 30, Iran’s Coronavirus Combat Taskforce reportedly ordered all newspapers to close printing houses indefinitely to stem the spread of the virus. Some papers planned to publish electronically. The following are selected frontpages, in chronological order, which reflect the evolving coverage of Iran’s coronavirus crisis. The headlines were translated by Iran Front Page News.

 

February 22

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • Fake News, Rumors Spread by Losers about Coronavirus

  • Health Minister: Corona Less Dangerous than Flu

Kayhan

 

February 23

 

Hamshahri (centrist newspaper):

  • No to Fear of Corona

hamshahri

 

Iran (conservative newspaper):

  • All Together against Coronavirus

iran

 

Javan (hardline newspaper):

  • We’ll Defeat Coronavirus Even Without International Support

javan

 

Jomhouri Eslami (conservative newspaper):

  • 98.5 Percent of Coronavirus Patients Can Be Treated

jomhouri

 

Sazandegi (centrist newspaper):

  • Corona Panic

sazandegi

 

February 24

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • Health Minister: We Don’t Agree with Quarantining Entire Cities

afkar

 

Javan (hardline newspaper):

  • 80 percent of Corona Patients Don’t Need Any Treatment

javan

 

February 25

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • Virus of Unaccountability Worse than Coronavirus!

  • Coronavirus Causes Losses to Iranian Businesses

aftab

 

Javan (hardline newspaper):

  • National Mobilization of Forces against Corona

  • IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) Ready to Help Fight Coronavirus

  • Hands Tied by Coronavirus Propaganda

javan

 

Sazandegi (centrist newspaper):

  • Crisis of Coronavirus Statistics

  • While Qom Lawmaker Says 50 Killed in Qom for Coronavirus, Health Ministry Denies

sazandegi

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • Mousavi: Closure of Iran Borders Temporary

  • Cities Won’t Be Quarantined

  • We Were Late in Diagnosing Coronavirus: Official

afkar

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • Management Trapped by Corona

  • Rouhani: Double Your Efforts to Improve People’s Healthcare

ebtekar

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Gov’t Spokesman: Don’t Politicize Coronavirus

etemad

 

Ettela’at (centrist newspaper):

  • Society Must Be Rid of Corona Panic

newspaper

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • Health Minister Denies Claim 50 Killed by Coronavirus in Qom; 12 Killed in Iran

kayhan

 

February 26

 

Abrar (conservative newspaper):

  • Rouhani: Everything Will Get Back to Normal

abrar feb26

 

Arman-e Melli (reformist newspaper):

  • WHO Warns Iran over Mismanagement of Corona Outbreak

  • Army Comes to Help Fight Corona

  • Rouhani Complains about Shortage of Masks

newspaper

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Rouhani: People Will Endure Difficulties

  • President: Life Will Get Back to Normal as of Saturday

  • Democracy in Corona Style: Number of Corona Patients Growing among People, Officials Alike

etemad feb26

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • Danger of Being Obsessed with Coronavirus Threatening Iran’s Management, Economy

  • Iranian Doctors, Nurses in Frontline of War on Coronavirus

kayhan feb26

 

Sazandegi (centrist newspaper):

  • Quarantine: Yes or No?

  • Can Quarantine of Cities Prevent Spread of Coronavirus?

sazandegi

 

Shargh (reformist newspaper):

  • Why Wasn’t Qom Quarantined?

  • Iran Target of Corona Accusations

shargh

 

February 27

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • Rouhani: Some Die of Simple Cold!

Ebtekar feb. 27

 

Ettela’at (centrist newspaper):

  • Industry Minister: No Need to Worry, All Basic Commodities Provided for Nowruz (Persian New Year)

  • Health Minister: Novel Coronavirus Contained in Iran

ettelaat feb27

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • All Profiteers of Coronavirus: From Pompeo to Mask Hoarders

  • 24 Coronavirus Patients Fully Recovered, Discharged from Hospital

  • Rouhani: Coronavirus Shouldn’t Be Turned into Enemy’s Weapon to Shut Down Production

Kayhan feb27

 

February 29

 

Arman-e Melli (reformist newspaper):

  • Iran Leader Praises Doctors, Nurses for Their Efforts in Corona Containment

  • Coronavirus: From Parliament to Government; Officials Catching Virus

Arman feb29

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Health Ministry Has Final Say: Coronavirus Cancels Friday Prayers for First Time in Four Decades

etemad feb29

 

Ettela’at (centrist newspaper):

  • Iran Leader Warmly Thanks Doctors, Nurses in Fight against Coronavirus

  • Increased Control over People’s Travels in Infected Areas

ettelaat feb29
 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • Iran Has Enough Equipment to Produce Masks and Disinfectants Three Times More than It Needs

kayhan feb29

 

Sazandegi (centrist newspaper):

  • We’ll Defeat Coronavirus; Need to Counter Virus of Fake News

  • Health Minister: We’ll Have a Difficult Week; Stay Home

Sazandegi feb29

 

March 1

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • No Cover-Up of Facts about Those Infected by Coronavirus

afkar mar1

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • State TV Turns into School for Students

  • Iranian Businesses Hit by Coronavirus ahead of Nowruz

Aftab mar1

 

Ettela’at (centrist newspaper):

  • Rouhani to Qatari Emir: World Must Unite against Coronavirus

ettelaat mar3

 

Iran (conservative newspaper):

  • Taking Shelter at Home

  • VOD (Video on Demand) Services Become Free for Subscribers until End of Year

  • Working Hours Decreased in Tehran, Other Cities

iran mar3

 

Shahrvand (reformist newspaper):

  • Global Threat of Coronavirus at Highest Level

  • Judiciary Chief: Pre-emptive Measures to Be Taken in Prisons to Prevent Spread of Corona

shahrvand mar1

 

March 2

 

Iran (conservative newspaper):

  • National Movement to Defeat Coronavirus

  • Health Ministry to Go Door to Door with 300,000 Forces

iran mar2

 

Khorasan (conservative newspaper):

  • Six Proposals to Help Businesses Recover from Corona

  • Extensive Disinfection of Public Places Across Iran

khorasan march3

 

March 3

 

Arman-e Melli (reformist newspaper):

  • Iran Says No to US Offer of Help

  • Coronavirus Continues Infecting People: 225 People Infected in One Day

 Arman Mar3

 

Jomhouri Eslami (conservative newspaper):

  • WHO Aid for Fight against Coronavirus Arrives in Iran

Jomhouri mar3 

 

Mardom Salari (reformist newspaper):

  • Officials Don’t Need to Make People More Concerned by Declaring Their Positive Tests for Coronavirus: MP

  • We Don’t Count on Americans’ Help: Iran Foreign Ministry

mardom mar3 

 

March 4

 

Abrar (conservative newspaper):

  • Judiciary Spokesman: 54,000 Prisoners Granted Leave

abrar

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • Small Businesses Under Pressure of Coronavirus

afkar

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • COVID-19 Helped Certain Businesses Thrive: Pharmacy, Herbal Medicine Stores, Groceries

aftab

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • Big Recession in Iran’s Economy Ahead of Nowruz

  • Iran Leader: I’m Very Hopeful Young People Would Handle Big Disasters

ebtekar

 

Hamshahri (centrist newspaper):

  • Iran Leader: We’re Responsible for Health of Ourselves, Others

Hamshahri

 

Iran (conservative newspaper):

  • Iranian Economy Hit by Coronavirus

  • Corona Shuts Down Eco-Lodges

Iran

 

Javan (hardline newspaper):

  • [IRGC’s] Baqiyatallah Hospital to Introduce Coronavirus Medicine

  • We Have Managed to Produce Anti-Corona Drug, Received Licence

  • Iran Leader: All Bodies Must Provide Health Ministry with Required Facilities

javan

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • Iran Leader Stresses Fight against Coronavirus: All Bodies Must Cooperate with Health Ministry

  • Judiciary Spokesman: Hoarders Will Face Severe Punishments; from Jail to Execution

kayhan

 

Mardom Salari (reformist newspaper):

  • Portal Launched for Coronavirus Self-Examination, Registration

mardom

 

Shahrvand (reformist newspaper):

  • Iran Leader Underlines Need to Observe Anti-Corona Advice

  • WHO: We’re Now in Unknown Territory Regarding COVID-19

shahrvand

 

March 5

 

Arman-e Melli (reformist newspaper):

  • US Must Remove Compassion Mask: Rouhani

  • Emergency in Khorasan Razavi Province over Corona Outbreak

  • Mazandaran, Isfahan, Ardabil Ban Tourists During Nowruz

  • More Serious Quarantine of Qom with Military Forces
     

Arman

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Corona Outbreak Has Made Society Worried, But It Can be Defeated with Good Spirits: Rouhani

  • Iran Launches Production Line to Produce 38,000 Masks, 30,000 Liters of Disinfectant

etemad

 

Jam-e Jam (conservative newspaper):

  • 1- Europe Hinders Assistance to Corona Patients

  • 2- Don’t Believe in US Humanitarian Claim: Former UN Commissioner for Human Rights

jam

 

Sazandegi (centrist newspaper):

  • Corona Stats Will Not be Concealed

  • From Very First Day, Ministry of Health was Told not to Hide Anything from Public: Rouhani

sazandegi

 

Sharq (reformist newspaper):

  • President Rouhani Calls on People to Take Part in Smile Challenge

  • US Sends Positive Signal to Iran under Pretext of Corona

  • Trump Claims He Wants to Help Iran

sharq

 

March 9

 

Abrar (conservative newspaper):

  • MP: Rasht in Northern Iran in Most Critical Condition over Coronavirus

  • Emergency Situation Declared in New York Following Outbreak of Coronavirus

abrar

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • Why COVID-19 Is Infecting Iranian Officials?

  • From Bioterrorism to Lack of Enough Hygiene?

  • WHO Pleased with Iran’s Measures against COVID-19

aftab

 

Ettela’at (centrist newspaper):

  • Rouhani: Empathy, Trust between People, Gov’t Only Way to Fight COVID-19

ettelaat

 

Javan (hardline newspaper):

  • Provincial Quarantine against ‘Coronavirus Nowruz Trips’

javan

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • WHO Representative: Iran’s Capabilities, Equipment to Fight Corona ‘Amazing’

kayhan

 

March 10

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • Iran Studying Possibility of Coronavirus Being US Biological Attack

Afkar

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • Medicine Is Sanctioned Because Oil Is Sanctioned: Iran Minister

  • Do Something for Gilan: Red Situation in Northern Provinces

  • We Should Accept Issue of Bioterrorism

aftab

 

Jomhouri Eslami (conservative newspaper):

  • Popular Mobilization for Supply of Anti-Corona Commodities

  • Trend of New COVID-19 Infections Continue to Decrease

jomhouri

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • IRGC Official: Three Revolutionary Bodies Helping Businesses Hit by Corona

  • Corona Hits 34 US States

kayhan

 

March 11

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • Corona Diplomacy

  • After Shamkhani’s Visit to Iraq, Larijani Also Writes to IPU over Coronavirus

  • China Did It, We Can Do It Too

aftab

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • We Return Home: Experts Urge People to Stay Home amid Corona Crisis

Etemad

 

Ettela’at (centrist newspaper):

  • Larijani: World Must Step in to Immediately Lift US Sanctions on Iran

  • Iran Leader Says Doctors, Nurses Who Die in Corona Fight Are Martyrs

ettelaat

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • Iran Deputy Health Minister: Six to Eight-Fold Increase in Hygiene Production

kayhan

 

Sazandegi (centrist newspaper):

  • Gilan’s Fight against Coronavirus

sazandegi

 

Shahrvand (reformist newspaper):

  • Workers Still at Work: No Measure Taken to Reduce Working Hours amid Corona Outbreak

shahrvand

 

Shargh (reformist newspaper):

  • Iran Leader Cancels Nowruz Speech in Mashhad over COVID-19

  • ‘Mahan Air’ Role in Corona-gate

shargh

 

March 14

 

Abrar (conservative newspaper):

  • Iran to Clear Streets in Next 24 Hours

  • Iran Leader Orders Chief of Staff of Armed Forces on Corona Battle

  • UN Chief: We’ll Help Iran Fight against Coronavirus

  • US Extends Emergency Situation against Iran

  • Japan Provides Iran with 2.5-Billion-Yen Aid for COVID-19 Fight

abrar

 

Ettela’at (centrist newspaper):

  • Iran Asks for $5 Billion Loan from IMF for Fight against Coronavirus

ettelaat

 

Jomhouri Eslami (conservative newspaper):

  • Use of Armed Forces in Fight against Corona

  • Most Advanced Technologies Used to Eradicate COVID-19 in Iran

Jomhouri Eslami

 

March 15

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • Rouhani to World Leaders: It’s Not Possible for Anyone to Manage Such Crisis Alone

Afkar

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Coronavirus Somewhere around White House

  • Iran’s Top General Says All Citizens Will Be Monitored

  • Tehran Won’t Be Quarantined: Gov’t Spokesman

etemad

 

Jomhouri Eslami (conservative newspaper):

  • Health Minister: Restrictions on People’s Travel to Be Imposed Soon

Jomhouri Eslami

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • People’s Unmatched Synergy in Difficult Days of Coronavirus

Kayhan

 

Setareh Sobh (reformist newspaper):

  • Nowruz without Shopping, Travel, Visiting Relatives

Setareh Sobh

 

March 16

 

Abrar (conservative newspaper):

  • Rouhani: We Have No Quarantine; Neither Today, Nor in Nowruz Holidays

  • Khuzestan Quarantined

  • General: IRGC Has Come to Help Corona Battle with Full Force

Abrar

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • Sanctions Bypass Strait of Corona

  • Zarif’s Letter to Foreign Counterparts on Coronavirus Delivered to Envoys

Ebtekar

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Tehran Mayor: We’re Unable to Quarantine Tehran

Etemad

 

Hemayat (conservative newspaper):

  • Biological Defense to Defeat Coronavirus

  • 35 Percent of Corona Patients Discharged from Medical Centers

Hemayat

 

Mardom Salari (reformist newspaper):

  • US Sanctions Impede People’s Access to Medical Needs: Top MP in Letter to US Congress

mardom

 

Shargh (reformist newspaper):

  • Iran Leader Praises Those Fighting Coronavirus

  • First VP Jahangiri’s Coronavirus Test Negative

  • Remote Control: How Rouhani Is Spending These Days

  • Health Ministry Spokesman: Over 100 Die of Coronavirus in Iran in 24 Hours

 

March 17

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • 70-Percent Decrease in Tehran Citizens’ Income amid Corona

  • Health Minister: We’ve Contained Cycle of Coronavirus in Iran

Afkar

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • Rouhani’s Prescription: Hope Therapy!

Aftab

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • Rouhani: Staying at Home Must Be Our New Year’s Slogan

  • Raisi: Leave Granted to 83,000 Prisoners

Ebtekar

 

March 18

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • A Corona-Hit Nowruz

Ebtekar

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Our Hearts Are Bloody, but May Our Faces Have Smiles on Them

  • Spring Comes as Iran Hit by Coronavirus

Etemad

 

Javan (hardline newspaper):

  • May Nowruz Defeats Coronavirus

  • Iranian Medicine Successfully Tested for Treatment of Coronavirus-Related Lung Problem

Javan

 

Setareh Sobh (reformist newspaper):

  • Persian Year Started with Flood, Is Ending with Corona

Setareh Sobh

 

April 4

 

Vatan-e Emrooz (conservative newspaper):

  • Corona Planet

  • Harshest Reaction against US

vatan

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • Russian, Syrian Parliament Speakers Wish Recovery for Larijani

  • Ayatollah Shabestari: Defeating Corona Possible through National Resolve

Afkar

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • Sacrifice Continues: Healthcare Staff Still at Frontlines

  • Iran’s WHO Head Asks Rouhani: Why Do You Insist on Reopening Public Offices So Quickly?

aftab

 

Donya-ye Eqtesad (reformist newspaper):

  • End of Coronavirus in Five Scenarios

  • Emptiest Roads in History of Nowruz Holidays

Donya

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Newspapers Struck by Coronavirus

  • Iran’s New Year Starts with Quarantine

  • Countering the Virus of Sanctions

Etemad

 

Hemayat (conservative newspaper):

  • Smart Popular Defense against Corona: People Help Healthcare Staff by Staying Home

Hemayat

 

Iran (conservative newspaper):

  • Government Starts Helping Businesses Hit by Coronavirus

  • War of Masks: Shortage of Mask Leads to Huge Robberies

Iran

 

Setareh Sobh (reformist newspaper):

  • Corona: An Opportunity to Ease Sanctions

  • What 12 Prominent Scientists Think about Post-Corona Era

  • Number of Global Infections Exceeds One Million

  • Zarif: US Must Fight the Virus, Not Iranian People

satareh sobh

 

April 5

 

Aftab-e Yazd (reformist newspaper):

  • Traffic of Death: Tehran, Other Big Cities Crowded Despite Warnings

Aftab

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • Insufficient Social Distancing Restrictions Make Cities Crowded Again

  • Should We Wait for Another Wave of COVID-19?

Ebtekar

 

Etemad (reformist newspaper):

  • Rouhani: No Worker Should Be Fired

  • Options Ahead of Iran: Reconsidering Implementation of Additional Protocol and NPT

Etemad

 

Hamshahri (centrist newspaper):

  • Family Tension in Quarantine

  • Tehran Mayor on Guardian: We Should Think Globally, Act Locally

  • And Suddenly Traffic Jam: Increase in Number of Bus, Subway Passengers after 16 Days

Hamshahri

 

Mardom Salari (reformist newspaper):

  • Europe Urges Removal of Iran Sanctions

  • Death and Quarantine of Global Community

  • Americans Dissatisfied with Trump’s Handling of Corona

Mardom news

 

Shahrvand (reformist newspaper):

  • Call for Immediate Action: Economists Call for IRR 400-Trillion Support Package

  • Traffic of Corona in Tehran: Capital’s Streets Packed with Cars Despite Quarantine

Shahrvand

 

April 6

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • Corona’s Lessons for Economy

  • Which One to Choose: Health or Economy [Editorial]

Ebtekar

 

Abrar (conservative newspaper):

  • Low-Risk Businesses Can Resume Work as of April 11 in Other Provinces, as of April 18 in Tehran

Abrar

 

Afkar (conservative newspaper):

  • Spokesman: COVID-19 May Surge Again Next Week

Afkar

 

Hamshahri (centrist newspaper):

  • Staying at Home While Concerned about Expenses

  • City Council Calls for Banning Tehran Citizens from Leaving Home

hamshahri

 

Javan (hardline newspaper):

  • COVID-19 Convulses Western Culture

  • Corona: A Ritual Challenge for East, Civilizational Challenge for West [Editorial]

javan

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • Containing Inconsistencies Prerequisite of Containing Corona

  • Iran’s Long Step to Counter Corona

  • From Producing Third Generation of Diagnosis Kit to Electro-Optical Screening System

Kayhan

 

Mardom Salari (reformist newspaper):

  • Schools, Holy Places to Remained Closed until April 19

  • Health Minister: No COVID-19 Should Be Charged at Medical Centers of Iran

mardom

 

April 7

 

Resalat (conservative newspaper):

  • Patience Is What Kills Coronavirus

Resalat

 

Hamshahri (centrist newspaper):

  • Silent Mourning: A Report on Great Sorrow of Families of Corona Victims

Hamshahri

 

Javan (hardline newspaper):

  • West's Economy to Stall for 3 Years

  • Rouhani Thanks Iran’s Leader for Okaying Withdrawal of One Billion Euros 

Javan

 

Kayhan (hardline newspaper):

  • Mr. Trump! Help Your Own People Instead of Bluffing

Kayhan

 

April 8

 

Abrar (conservative newspaper): 

  • Parliament Removes from Its Agenda a Triple-Urgency Motion to Shut Down Country for One Month

  • Interior Minister: Coronavirus Trend Slowing Down in Many Provinces

Abrar

 

Donya-ye Eqtesad (reformist newspaper):

  • Health Minister: We Hope Corona Will Be Contained by Mid-May

Donya

 

Ebtekar (centrist newspaper):

  • Impossible Mission of Social Distancing!

  • Rouhani: No Rush to Reopen Schools and Universities

Ebtekar

 

Hamshahri (centrist newspaper):

  • Gradual Farewell to Corona

Hamshahri

 

Setareh Sobh (reformist newspaper):

  • People Under Pressure of Sanctions, Corona: MP Warns

  • There’s No Clean Spot in Tehran: Official

  • 4,000 ICU Beds Allocated to Corona Patients All Full

Setareh

 

Shargh (reformist newspaper):

  • Newspapers Can Publish Print Version as of Saturday: Official

  • Tehran Has Yet to Reach Peak of Corona: Official

shahrgh

 

Related Data and Analysis:

 

Updated