Repressive mobilization under the pretext of combating Corona to confront youth uprising during the Fire-Fest
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) announced this afternoon, Monday, March 16, that the number of Coronavirus fatalities exceeds 5,500 in 186 cities.
The number of victims in Bobol and Ilam is more than 250 and 120 respectively. The spread of the virus in Tabriz is alarming and the death toll in East Azerbaijan is at least 150. In addition to other provinces, the death toll in Tehran has soared to 750, in Gilan to 681, in Khorasan Razavi to 457 and in Yazd to 80.
The situation in Mazandaran remains ominous, with at least 70 people losing their lives in the last 24 hours. In the past two days, in Sari, the Provincial capital, 770 people have been hospitalized. The number of physicians, nurses and medical staff, who have lost their lives to Coronavirus is constantly rising. Only in Babol, four of the University of Medical Sciences’ staff have died, the IRGC’s News Agency, Fars, reported.
Kashan is facing a severe shortage of hospital beds with no capacity for new admissions. There is a serious shortage of masks, gloves, protective gowns, and necessary medicines. According to eyewitnesses, on Friday, March 13, no less than 40 people died in Kashan. The government prevents the closure of factories and companies in the Province, which has further spread the virus. Mohammad Haji Jafari, vice-president of Kashan University of Medical Sciences, acknowledged that 65 doctors and medical staff had been infected and the death toll had reached 180.
While even according to regime bogus statistics, the number of victims is increasing every day, Hassan Rouhani, regime’s president, shamelessly claimed today, “The country has gone through the peak period of Coronavirus outbreak.” A couple of weeks ago, he had claimed that by March 7, 2020, “Everything would be back to normal.”
The ruling religious fascism refuses to quarantine the epicenters of the outbreak to avoid bearing the price for it. “We have nothing called quarantine … everyone is free to carry on with their activities and their business,” Rouhani said yesterday. “Quarantining Tehran is a big lie,” emphasized Ali Rabiei, Rouhani’s spokesperson. “There will be no change in the opening hours of shops, bakeries and other businesses”, he added.
At the same time, Tehran’s Mayor Pirouz Hanachi admitted, “Quarantine measures, such as supplying goods and compensating (businesses, etc.), cannot be implemented in the country and therefore quarantine cannot be fully implemented.” This is while the costs for such services can easily be covered by hundreds of billions of dollars of Iranian people’s wealth usurped by the IRGC, Khamenei’s office, and institutions such as Khomeini’s executive headquarters, “Mostazafan Foundation”, “Martyrs’ Foundation”, and Astan-e Quds Razavi.
In another development, under the pretext of combating Coronavirus, repressive measures are being undertaken to counter the youth’s uprising during the upcoming Chaharshanbe Suri (Fire Festival). The defiant youth, with slogans like “the answer to Khamenei, is fire” are preparing for the Fire-fest held on the last Tuesday night before the Persian New Year on March 20. According to the regime’s official news release, “Qazvin’s 16th Armored Division, along with 116th Qazvin’s Safavi, 216th Zanjan, and 316th Hamadan brigades, are headed to Gilan Province to confront the coronavirus … These forces are deployed until the mission is completed. They will have a permanent stay in Gilan province, although, the planed deployment was for two months”.
Deputy Operational Commander of Ilam’s Security Force, Colonel Hamid Fattahi also said, “This year’s Fire-fest is different from previous years, and the police will strongly prevent any gathering and event.” The commander for prevention in Greater Tehran’s State Security Force announced that 1,800 motorized and infantry patrols are employed during the Nowruz period.”
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
March 16, 2020