Iranian religious scholar Abbas Mousavi Motlagh said in a Friday, July 24, 2020 lecture in Qom that was uploaded to the Iranian website Aparat.com that COVID-19 is an evil, man-made virus and a plot against humanity. He said that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other Iranian scholars have said that COVID-19 is a "secular virus" meant to lead religious societies down a path that leads to secularism. Motlagh added that part of the plot had been to shut down Iran's religious centers and holy places, but that this plot has failed.
Abbas Mousavi Motlagh: "This evil [COVID-19] virus is a plot against humanity as a whole. We must neutralize the destructive influence of this plot – of this man-made virus.
"According to the honorable Leader [Khamenei], this is an evil virus. Why is it evil? Because our great scholars and thinkers have been referring to it as a secular virus. Its purpose is to lead religious societies down a path that eventually leads to secularism.
"Of course, part of their project was to cancel our religious study sessions and to shut down our holy places and our mosques. However, they have failed."