Tehran(ANN)-A group of Iranian physicians have written a letter to certain regional heads of state, urging them to take necessary measures to destroy “all of the US biological laboratories,” amid reports and speculation that the global coronavirus outbreak has been caused by unidentified laboratories spreading the epidemic as part of a “biological warfare.”

In the letter addressed to leaders of Georgia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan and released on Wednesday, 101 Iranian doctors specializing in infectious and pulmonary diseases, asthma and allergies, called for those countries’ immediate action given the rapid spread of the COVID-19 and reports about its laboratory construct and purposeful manipulation.

“We, as a group of Iranian physicians specializing in infectious and pulmonary diseases, asthma and allergy are witnessing that many of our compatriots are infected with the virus, and like all doctors across the world, we are trying day and night to cure and save the them,” they said.

“But there has been plenty of evidence in both the world’s leading scientific articles and in the media, citing geneticists and biologists and WikiLeaks documents, that reinforces the speculation about the COVID-19 manipulation in biological laboratories and a biological attack by the US though the virus against rival countries,” the letter added, pointing, as an example, to earlier remarks by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who said in a tweet the United States military could have brought the novel coronavirus to China, and that it did not originate in the Chinese city of Wuhan, as widely believed. 

The Chinese official said, “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owes us an explanation!”

The doctors said the US had a history of using biological weapons, stressing “it is imperative to preserve human lives and prevent future generations from scolding us for being silent and our possible inaction regarding this huge crime in human history.”

Pointing to US withdrawal from various international agreements and treaties, the letter said Washington was highly likely to defy international agreements to control the development of biological weapons such as the “Geneva Protocol” and “the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons.”

It has also refused to sign protocols on prevention of microbiological weapons, the letter added.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 170 countries and territories around the world. 

The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 8,000 people and infected over 200,000 others globally.

More than 3,200 have died and above 80,000 others been infected in China.

Iran has reported 1,135 fatalities and 17,361 cases of infection. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran’s security chief said the United States had better respond to international demands to clarify its role in creating and spreading the new coronavirus instead of pointing the finger of blame at Iran and China.

This came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed during a press conference in Washington D.C. on Tuesday that “the Wuhan virus is a killer and the Iranian regime is an accomplice,” alleging that Iran was “trying to avoid responsibility.”

Pompeo also accused China of running a “disinformation campaign,” which he said was “designed to shift responsibility” over the virus. The US official, meanwhile, deflected questions about the quality of Washington’s performance in controlling the virus.

The remarks come as earlier this month, a former American counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA said that the “coronavirus did not occur naturally through mutation but rather was produced in a laboratory, possibly as a biological warfare agent.”

“There has been some speculation that as the [US President Donald] Trump Administration has been constantly raising the issue of growing Chinese global competitiveness as a direct threat to American national security and economic dominance, it might be possible that Washington has created and unleashed the virus in a bid to bring Beijing’s growing economy and military might down a few notches. It is, to be sure, hard to believe that even the Trump White House would do something so reckless, but there are precedents for that type of behavior,” Philip Giraldi wrote in an article published by the Strategic Culture Foundation on March 5.