Iranian military leaders unveiling a new "corona detector" that appears to be a hoax. (FARS) (FARS)
iran military coronavirus detection machine

UK Independent newspaper reveals so-called detection machine is actually a re-packaged phony bomb detector sold to the Iraqis years ago by a British con artist.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Top Iranian military commanders appeared on state television this week to unveil a new coronavirus detecting device, but the machine looks like the same fake bomb-detector sold to Iraq and Afghanistan by a British con artist, the Independent newspaper reported Wednesday.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by one of Iran’s top generals, Major General Hossein Salami, along with two other brigadier generals who are in charge of medical training and biological defense affairs.

The device they presented looked like “the same phony bomb-detecting tools once sold by a convicted British fraudster James McCormick to Iraqi security forces, and that have for years popped up at checkpoints in Middle East countries,” the Independent said.

Wearing surgical masks, it was hard to discern the expressions on their faces when Salami described the miraculous way the machine worked.

“The system can spot the coronavirus-contaminated area from 100 meters away in 5 seconds and it does not need to take blood from patients and has been tested in different hospitals and showed positive performance in 80% of cases,” Salami, commander of the Basij (volunteer) forces told Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency.

Testing for COVID-19 generally involves taking mucous samples, not blood, from patients and processing them in a laboratory. There is no known way of remotely detecting an area infected by the coronavirus, let alone an area infected by the common cold.

The detectors were previously sold as novelty golf-ball detection devices, but the device was described as a “useless” box of plastic and metal that does “little if anything.” U.S. military personnel deployed to Iraq encountered the devices and likened them to magic wands that could detect nothing.

However, similar devices keep appearing in developing countries as miracle working gadgets with Egypt’s military pushing a similar device in 2013 as a medical tool for detecting people infected with hepatitis, the report said.

Iran is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic. As of Thursday there were 77,995 Iranians confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus and at least 4,869 COVID-19 related deaths.

However, the real death toll appears to be double the official figures, the Londan-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported citing an Iranian parliamentary report.

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