Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a July 18, 2020 address to Iran's national coronavirus committee that aired on IRINN TV (Iran) that according to Iran's Ministry of Health, as many as 25 million Iranians have been infected by COVID-19. He said that according to Health Ministry reports, the outbreak of COVID-19 in Iran originated in the provinces of Qom and Gilan. President Rouhani explained that the virus appears to have been spread in Qom by businessmen and merchants from Wuhan, China, and in Gilan by delegations of students and athletes from Wuhan.
Hassan Rouhani: "I received a report from the research department in the Health Ministry, and I just now looked through it. This report contains important points. It says that according to the [Health Ministry's] estimates, as many as 25 million Iranians have been infected with coronavirus.
"Some provinces were affected by the first wave, and other provinces are being affected by the second wave. In the first wave, the provinces of Qom and Gilan had the highest infection rates. According to our reports, the spread of the virus appears to have begun in Qom and Gilan because of travelers who arrived from Wuhan. In Qom, this mostly happened because of businessmen and commerce, and in Gilan, it was because of delegations of athletes and students."