Iran Debuts ‘Homegrown’ Rapid Coronavirus Test

An Iranian member of the medical staff works on the production of COVID-19 test kits at a medical center in Karaj, at the northern Alborz Province, on April 11, 2020. - Iran reported 125 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, raising the overall toll in the Middle East's worst-hit country …
ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images

Iran debuted an allegedly “homegrown” rapid antigen coronavirus testing kit on Monday, which officials claim can detect with “high accuracy” if someone is carrying the disease in less than 20 minutes.

The test is the latest in a series of alleged Iranian medical breakthroughs since the pandemic erupted. From untested herbal solutions to camel urine to alleged “magnetic” detectors, most have not found any success outside the country due to lack of performance.

State propaganda outlet PressTV reported that the kit was manufactured by the “knowledge-based” Barakat E-Health Company (BEHCo), allegedly a private Iranian healthcare company. According to BEHCo, the test can return a result in as soon as 15 minutes which, if true, would massively expedite the testing process. Epidemiologists believe accurate quick testing is essential to bringing the virus under control.

While the company manufacturing the kits is allegedly private, the Iranian Islamist regime held a ceremony Tuesday to celebrate its creation, attended by Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, head of the Tehran Coronavirus Combat Taskforce Dr. Alireza Zali, and Director of the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Directive Mohammad Mokhber Dezfuli.

Zali praised the achievement, explaining that Iran had now “acquired the knowhow to manufacture the sophisticated test kit and is now one of the world’s five producers of the kit – the others being the United States, China, South Korea, and Britain.” In all four of these countries, testing regimes are readily available but typically take around 24 hours to provide a reliable result.

Should Iran have really manufactured a test that can return results in a matter of minutes, this would represent a massive step forward for the world in terms of tracking and tracing the illness by expediting the testing process.

According to Zali, the homegrown rapid antigen coronavirus test kit was “administered on 500 patients under the supervision of Pasteur Institute of Iran (IPI), and has secured clinical approval.” He added that it had “successfully passed all research procedures and relevant standards and is able to increase the daily number of COVID-19  [Chinese coronavirus] diagnostic tests.”

Iran has a history of producing unproven and often dangerous treatments for the coronavirus, which has hit the country harder than most. Despite continued lockdown measures, the country has recorded nearly 800,000 coronavirus cases and more than 42,000 deaths, the 14th highest number worldwide.

In late April, more than 700 Iranians died after ingesting toxic methanol in the false belief that it provided a cure. Later that month, an Islamic prophetic medicine healer prescribed camel urine to his patients suffering from coronavirus-like symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization, camel urine is a transmitter of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), another strain of coronavirus that has caused regional outbreaks. State media has also promoted various herbal treatments as a cure for the virus despite no scientific evidence supporting their use.

Iranian Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) terrorist group, declared in April that IRGC had invented a special coronavirus-detecting machine that could remotely identify infected people and contaminated areas within a range of 100 meters using a special aerial system and magnetic fields. There is no scientific evidence that magnetic fields can help detect the Chinese coronavirus. The device Salami promoted, which he said he would refuse to share with America if asked, notably resembled a fraudulent device sold as a “bomb detector” by a con artist in Iraq.

Follow Ben Kew on ParlerFacebook, or Twitter. You can email him at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.