Iran opens up as economic woes trump virus infection fears

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has begun opening intercity highways and major shopping centers to stimulate its sanctions-choked economy. The Islamic Republic is gambling that it has brought under control its coronavirus outbreak, one of the worst in the world, even as some fear it could lead to a second wave of infections. Stores from high-end malls to the meandering alleyways of Tehran’s historic Grand Bazaar reopened on Monday, though the government limited their working hours until 6 p.m. Meanwhile across the Mideast, authorities are also concerned about limiting traditional religious gatherings during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan to prevent the virus’ spread.