Saturday, April 18, was the official end of the incomplete Coronavirus quarantine and the beginning of the reopening of offices and businesses and the implementation of a project called Smart Social Distancing in Tehran, Iran.
Simultaneous with the official launch of the project in Tehran, the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani claimed the success of the project at a meeting of the chairmen of the specialized committees of the coronavirus headquarters.
He said: “The implementation of the Smart Social Distancing Plan has reduced the spread of the disease in some provinces and created a steady trend in other provinces.” This is a shameful and blatant lie, because the statements of the regime’s officials contradict this.
Ali Maher, a member of the Coronation Headquarters in Tehran, said: “In Tehran, it cannot be said that the situation has improved. We are waiting for the effects of the new conditions to appear.”
Dr. Mohammad Reza Zafarghandi, chairman of the General Assembly of the regime’s medical system, also called the method of Smart Social distancing “doomed to failure.”
But the traffic situation in Tehran was more eloquent and embarrassing than any statement. In several news reports in various news sections, the regime’s television reported heavy traffic on Tehran’s highways and streets and said that traffic in Tehran had increased by 75 percent and even doubled compared to the previous year.
But perhaps more dangerous than vehicles’ traffic was the social dense traffic on the subway and buses.
The state-run Resalat newspaper in an article on April 18, while reminding that the government’s assessments had rated the share of the public transport fleet in the transmission of the coronavirus among other factors as between 25 and 30 percent, wrote:
“The lives of 350,000 subway passengers are at risk, and sooner or later the consequences of this will be revealed in the number of victims and casualties caused by the virus.”
The Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and its president Hassan Rouhani are aware of these facts and data. They canceled the quarantine with full knowledge over its subsequent huge human casualties. As the regime’s state-run newspapers wrote, Khamenei and Rouhani, in the twofold of “lives or security,” or clearly, between people’s lives and the regime’s security, chose the survival and security of the regime, which they define as obligatory.
The coronavirus crisis has put the regime in a deadly deadlock. On the one hand, with the continuation of the quarantine, the regime had to cover people’s expenses, particularly those of the poor, i.e. much of the society, or it had to confront the army of hungry people.
On the other hand, by ending the incomplete quarantine, it must accept its huge human casualties to control the economic situation for a short period of time.
Yet, as the state-run media acknowledged, ending quarantine under these circumstances will make the society explosive along with increasing human casualties.
The state-run Mostaqel daily, in an article on April 18 while referring to what it called the “critical economic situation of the country and the coronavirus outbreak which intensifies it,” reminded that this situation “could result in violent rebellions and protests.”
The regime, in a fatal deadlock between bad and worse, chose the bad. Although the Iranian people will pay the price with a high casualty rate, but the current Iranian society, as restive and scorching as it is due to injustice, poverty, inequality and repression, await a spark to explode.
The coronavirus crisis, with its large human casualties, occurs in such a society. The ruling mullahs think that the Iranian people are losing their ability to rise up due to the grief and helplessness caused by this tragedy, but this analysis is a deadly strategic mistake of the kind that all dictators make as they reach their end.