An advisor to the Iranian foreign minister who participated in the hostage-taking process at the American embassy died in 1979, after he was infected with the new Corona virus, the official IRNA news agency reported on Friday.

The agency reported that Hussain Sheikh al-Islam, a "veteran diplomat", died late Thursday.

Before his death, Sheikh al-Islam was an advisor to the Foreign Minister, Muhammad Javad Zarif.

He assumed the duties of Iran's Ambassador to Syria, and was also Deputy Foreign Minister between 1981 and 1997.

Sheikh al-Islam was one of the students who participated in the hostage taking in 1979.

The virus has also claimed the lives of other prominent Iranian officials, such as Muhammad Mir Mohammadi, a member of the Expediency Council.

Among the officials who died of the virus are Deputy Muhammad Ali Ramadhani and Mojtaba Borkhenli, an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, both of whom are from the province of Gilan, which was most affected by the virus.

Also, Ahmad Toiserkani, one of the advisers to the head of the judiciary, Hadi Khusraw-Shahi, a former ambassador to the Vatican, and Mujtaba Fazli, a prominent cleric assistant, were also serving.

Tehran deputy Fatima Rahbar has been in a coma since her injury, according to the ISNA news agency.

A number of other officials were infected with the virus and were subject to quarantine, including Vice-President Masoumeh Ebtekar, Deputy Minister of Health Iraj Harirchi and Musa al-Shabiri al-Zanjani, who is considered a senior religious authority.

On Friday, Iran announced 17 new deaths from the emerging coronavirus, bringing the total death toll to 124.

"We have confirmed that there are 1,234 new cases, which is a record in recent days, and that brings the total number of injuries to 4,747," Health Ministry spokesman Kyanosh Jahanpur said at a press conference.

He added that the new infections probably belong to those who were infected with the virus two weeks ago and came to us after they showed symptoms.