Iranians wait their turn to be inoculated against the coronavirus at a vaccination center set up inside the Iran Mall in the capital Tehran, on August 14, 2021. Photo: AFP / Atta Kenare

Iran announced more than 700 deaths from the coronavirus Tuesday, yet another high for the Islamic republic as it struggles to contain a surge in infections.

The health ministry said the virus claimed another 709 lives in the past 24 hours, surpassing the previous daily record of 684 deaths reached on Sunday.

The pandemic has claimed 103,357 lives out of 4,756,394 cases of infection, according to the ministry, whose figures officials have acknowledged understate the real toll.

Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi said on Saturday that his government would prioritize tackling Covid and accelerate vaccinations.

The Islamic republic was one of the first countries to be hit by the virus after China.

Since announcing its first cases in February 2020, authorities have refrained from imposing full lockdowns, instead closing public spaces such as schools on a case-by-case basis.

The latest nationwide curbs lasted six days before they were lifted on Sunday, but a ban on travel between provinces by private car remains in place until August 27.

Choked by US sanctions that have made it difficult to transfer money abroad, Iran says it has struggled to import vaccines.

Fewer than 6.5 million of Iran’s 83 million people have received a second vaccine dose, according to official figures.