Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. general said on Thursday that Iran is significantly underreporting the number of its coronavirus victims and he believed that the global pandemic is making Tehran more dangerous, a day after an attack in Iraq that killed U.S. and British troops.
“I think it is having an effect on how they make decisions, I think it slows them down…I believe the numbers are probably significantly underreported,” U.S. Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of Central Command, said.
McKenzie said while he did not know for sure what impact the virus was having that “authoritarian regimes” usually react to extreme pressure by looking at external threats.
“I think it probably makes them, in terms of decision making, more dangerous rather than less dangerous,” McKenzie said during a Senate hearing.