Adviser to Iran's foreign minister dies after contracting coronavirus

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Adviser to Iran's foreign minister dies after contracting coronavirus

Tehran (Agencies): An adviser to Iran's foreign minister who took part in the 1979 US embassy hostage crisis has died from coronavirus, the official IRNA news agency reported.


Hossein Sheikholeslam, "a veteran and revolutionary diplomat" died late Thursday, IRNA said.

Before his death Sheikholeslam was advisor to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. A former ambassador to Syria, he also served as deputy foreign minister from 1981 to 1997.

Sheikholeslam was also one of the students involved in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

That year, and less than nine months after the toppling of the American-backed shah, Iranian students stormed the US embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage.

This prompted Washington to sever diplomatic ties with Iran in 1980.

The hostages were freed in January 1981, after 444 days in captivity.

Iran has been scrambling to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus which so far has infected 3,513 people and killed at least 107 people in the Islamic republic.

Six of those who died from coronavirus are politicians or government officials.