The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic began in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and continues to spread globally, with exported cases confirmed in 28 countries at the time of writing. During the interval between February 19 and 23, 2020, Iran reported its first 43 cases with eight deaths. Three exported cases originating in Iran were identified, suggesting a underlying burden of disease in that country than is indicated by reported cases. A large epidemic in Iran could further fuel global dissemination of COVID-19. We sought to estimate COVID-19 outbreak size in Iran based on known exported case counts and air travel links between Iran and other countries, and to anticipate where infections originating in Iran may spread to next.

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