The coronavirus outbreak in Iran has claimed the lives of nearly 38,000 people due to the regime’s cover-up and inaction. Instead of helping people, the Iranian regime arrests those exposing the reality of the COVID-19 for what it calls “rumor–mongering.”
In other countries, in addition to government transparency, individuals who alert others about a crisis such as the coronavirus outbreak are honored as heroes. In Iran, this is not the case.
Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman for the regime’s armed forces, told state-run TV on April 29: “Some 3,600 people who had posted rumors in virtual space were arrested by the State Security Forces (SSF) and the Bassij. Our enemies continue their hostility, and they have agents inside the country who pursue their policy in the country.”
On March 5, the head of the Iranian regime’s cyber police (FATA) announced the arrest of 121 Iranians for “spreading rumors” about the coronavirus. The regime also reportedly threatened medical staff against revealing accurate statistics of coronavirus cases and deaths.
On April 17, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed confidential directives of the Iranian regime’s Command Center for Communications and Law Enforcement Security (ICT). This document read: Membership ban in any hostile (Internet) groups affiliated with deviant counter-revolutionary and political currents,” refrain from providing “organizational information,” “information that causes tension among the population or between the people and the armed forces and the government” and” “information that causes tension between armed forces organizations.“
Since the coronavirus outbreak, the regime’s official policy was to cover up the true dimensions of the crisis, fearing a possible social outrage. The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) announced on Wednesday that the coronavirus death toll has surpassed 37,200. The actual number is indeed much higher.
A MEK report from inside Iran states: “In just one day, in February, at the Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran, 36 people passed away because of the coronavirus. The hospital’s employees said on the same day they were not allowed to take footages or pictures. There are many plainclothes MOIS agents. Today some of these plainclothes agents were speaking with the security forces and the hospital’s management. They put pressure on the medical staff to inform them immediately if anyone wants to take footage.”
A MEK report from Valian Hospital in the city of Aligudarz in Lorestan provinces states: “The hospital’s security office has threatened to fire anyone who gives the names of those killed. “
These revelations, particularly those by the Iranian Resistance, has put the regime in a deadlock. If the regime continues the cover-up, it will add to the Iranian people’s explosive anger, drawing a possible explosion closer, because the Iranian people are watching facts closely. Yet, If the regime halts its cover-up and announces the real death toll, this will certainly spark an explosion and an uprising, which utterly terrifies the regime.
So, for the regime, and for the Iranian people, it is clear no matter what direction the regime takes, this will lead to the Iranian people’s uprising and the regime’s downfall.