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Coronavirus Outbreak in Iran: Regime Expels MSF While Increasing Suppression

Medecins Sans Frontieres(MSF)
Medecins Sans Frontieres(MSF)

The Iranian regime on Monday expelled the Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) which was there to help the coronavirus victims.   

This is while Alireza Vahhabzadeh, an advisor to the regime’s minister of health announced on his Twitter account that, since the so-called national mobilization for confronting the novel coronavirus is underway, and “the Iranian [regime’s] Armed Forces’ medical capabilities are entirely at its service; Iran did not need hospitals established by foreigners. [Therefore], the MSF presence in Iran is irrelevant.” 

While the regime has been complaining of the international sanctions, it has declined foreign aid 

On March 22, the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, while blatantly accusing the United States of instigating the coronavirus pandemic in Iran refused any aid from the U.S. and said: “Firstly, you (The United States) are facing shortages of your own … If you have anything, use it yourself. Secondly, you have allegedly produced the virus. One must be insane to trust that you will bring medicine. Your drugs may even spread the disease further or stabilize the virus. Or, if you send a physician, you may want to closely test the toxic effects of the virus you have created. Because it’s said that given the knowledge about Iranian genes, part of the virus has been specially created for Iran.” 

In a press release on March 22, the U.S. State Department said: The United States has and continues to offer humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people to help address the coronavirus outbreak. It is unfortunate for the Iranian people that their government has rejected this offer. Our priority has been to stand with the Iranian people – and this offer is still on the table. U.S. sanctions are not preventing aid from getting to Iran. The United States maintains broad authorizations that allow for the sale of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices by U.S persons or from the United States to Iran. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in this regard said on March 17: “I also want to call attention to the Iranian regime’s misinformation campaign surrounding the origination of the Wuhan virus.  Instead of focusing on the needs of the Iranian people and accepting genuine offers of support, senior Iranians lied about the Wuhan virus outbreak for weeks.” 

The coronavirus outbreak in Iran, which according to the reports published by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) has taken the lives of nearly 11,000 people, is rapidly spreading across the country due to the regime’s inaction and cover-up.

The real threat for the regime is not the COVID-19. In this regard, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “Khamenei’s drivel about the production of the virus by the U.S is a desperate attempt to cover up the regime’s incompetence in confronting the disease and the mullahs’ criminal role in the explosive spread of the virus nationwide and to divert the people’s anger, and disgust towards the U.S. But these justifications no longer work and only exacerbate the people’s rage.”  

Similarly, Hossain Shariatmadarieditor in chief of the Keihan daily, which is known as Khamenei’s mouthpiece, in an interview with the state-run Fars News Agency, on Monday described the reason for expelling MSF from Iran as the regime’s “mistrust toward this organization.” He further said that this mistrust is because of the presence of the Iranian Resistance, particularly the MEK, in European countries, including France.  

In another development, the Iranian regime’s Army announced that it had been ordered by the General Staff of the Armed Forces to carry out biological warfare exercises. This order, which comes directly from Khamenei, following his remarks accusing the U.S. of a biological warfare, elucidates his real intention and that his remarks were a prelude to further oppression. Earlier reports by the MEK confirmed that since the coronavirus outbreak the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and all other military forces of the regime are on full alert to confront possible popular uprising.  

In this regard, Asra think-tank, affiliated to Khamenei’s faction, in an analytic report titled “Is Iran on the verge of a rebellion,” which was published earlier in March, wrote: “Crossing the line of resilience and the lack of a centralized crisis management mechanism can turn local and regional uprisings into nationwide uprisings. Linking the corona crisis in Iran with past developments, including November 2019, creates a rebellion process.” It added that in order to confront possible uprisings the regime should be Increasing the role of military entities such as the Army and the Revolutionary Corps in controlling the cities and regions affected by the virus.”  

The regime is destabilized. The chain of events, from the nationwide Iran protests in November, the protests in Iraq and Lebanon against its meddling in their domestic affairs, the elimination of the IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, the IRGC’s downing of the Ukrainian airliner, the failure of its sham parliamentary election because of the people’s general boycott, and the regime’s unprecedented international isolation have shaken the regime’s foundation. Therefore, the coronavirus outbreak is indeed a security and existential threat to the mullahs’ regime, and it would never try to help people and would indeed continue its cover-up and inaction to paralyze a nation and prolong its rule.  

But an uprising is inevitable. The international community should take immediate action in helping the coronavirus victims in Iran and in order to stop the crisis from continuing, it should recognize the Iranian people’s right to resist and overthrow this regime.