WASHINGTON – Iran and China have been amplifying each other’s allegations that the United States initiated the coronavirus pandemic.
Both countries have used their state-approved media to highlight shared narratives rejected as false by Washington.
In recent weeks, Iranian state media have unquestioningly promoted claims from Chinese official and media sources that the U.S. brought the virus to China, where it was first detected in December before developing into a global pandemic.
Chinese state media have done the same with Iranian officials’ accusations that the U.S. created the virus to use as a biological weapon against Iran and other adversaries.
Iran and China are longtime economic allies and rivals of the U.S.
“Iran and China typically have very anti-U.S. sentiments in their state media,” Rachel Chernaskey, a media analyst for the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, said in a VOA Persian interview. “Where they have certain media narratives that are favorable (to each other’s point of view), you’ll see an overlap between them.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao has been Beijing’s most outspoken proponent of an unproven allegation that U.S. military personnel somehow brought the virus to Wuhan, center of China’s outbreak.