Iran´s supreme leader Saturday urged authorities to prioritize public health above any economic or security concerns, amid the Mideast’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus. Iran’s death toll from the global pandemic topped 32,000 this week. The government has resisted a total lockdown fearing it would further devastate its economy, already weakened by unprecedented US sanctions. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told officials during a meeting with the country’s top counter-coronavirus committee that “the main priority in decision-making is people´s health.” Khamenei urged “all organizations” to follow strictly the health ministry’s guidelines to help restrict the virus’ spread, “regardless of other considerations.” Some hardliner lawmakers have criticized Iranian President Hassan Rouhani´s management of the pandemic and demanded his resignation. Rouhani is a reformist politician and also championed Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, which began collapsing after the US’s unilateral withdrawal. Lawmaker Mojtaba Zolnouri, who heads parliament’s influential committee for national security and foreign policy, called on his Twitter account for Rouhani´s “hanging a thousand times until people´s hearts are satisfied.” Khamenei indirectly condemned such inflammatory statements in the meeting, calling it “wrong.” He said there is a difference between criticisms and insults. Iran shattered its single-day death toll record on Monday, and recorded consecutive daily infection highs on Tuesday and Wednesday – then again on Friday. A top health official stressed this week that the true number of deaths from the outbreak is likely 2.5 times higher.