A member of the Assembly of Experts, who has the authority to hire or fire the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khomenei, died from the Corona-Virus reports the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news outlet on Monday.

78-year-old Ayatollah Hashem Bathaei, is the latest on the list of senior Iranian officials to have caught the disease. Cabinet ministers, MPs, Revolutionary Guard officials as well as Health Ministry officials have all fallen victim to the virus. This phenomenon places Iran’s ability to respond to the global pandemic in doubt among world leaders.

A member of another clerical body that advises Khomeini died earlier in March. Several other government officials have also died from Covid-19.