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Iran’s Coronavirus Crisis: After 117,000 Deaths the Real Catastrophe Is Yet To Come

After months of cover-up and deliberate inaction, the COVID-19 crisis in Iran has reached a point where even the regime’s officials and state media are compelled to admit to some extents of the crisis. The rising death toll indicates a much larger looming catastrophe.

The regime’s officials in several provinces, including the capital Tehran, announced more social limits and closures will be imposed. Yet, governmental jobs, such as factories and many offices will be closed; thus, workers and employees should go to work. In a nutshell, the regime, again, takes the price of this closure from people. All the while, the regime’s own officials now admit the situation in Iran has reached “black” status.

A glance at the current situation

The state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily – August 9, 2020

The reports gathered by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) indicate that as of Tuesday, over 117,000 people had lost their lives across Iran due to the COVID-19 disease. The official death count declared by the regime stands at 27,419, around a fifth of the actual figure. Mohammad Reza Mahboub-Far, a former member of the Iranian regime’s Coronavirus Taskforce, on August 9, in an interview with the state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily said: “The figures announced by the officials on coronavirus cases and deaths account for only five percent of the country’s real death toll.”

Rouhani’s reaction and the reality

The regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who has been lying and blaming people since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, once again blamed people for not abiding by the health protocols and refusing to wear masks. All the while, due to the regime’s crippled economic policies, ordinary people are unable to have the minimum hygienic facilities such as masks and disinfectants.

In this regard, the state-run Aftab-e Yazd daily on Tuesday wrote: “We have witnessed that in many countries, when governments make the use of something mandatory, they make it available to everyone for free. But in our country, the government has never provided free masks to the public. In addition, the price of masks is still variable, and families are not able to provide and use the mask continuously because it adds significant costs to their budget. In other words, the reasons for people’s lack of cooperation are inflation, poverty, and unemployment. In addition, this government has increased people’s mistrust in the past eight years, because it has not fulfilled any of its promises.”

In fact, instead of distributing free masks among people, the regime’s officials will fine anyone who does not have a mask from now on.

Now the regime’s officials speak of how dangerous the situation is. According to Masoud Mardani, member of the Scientific Committee of the National Coronavirus Combat Taskforce (NCCT): “None of the hospitals I work in has an empty bed. Other hospitals are also full.” (State TV, October 5, 2020)

Alireza Zali, head of the NCCT in Tehran, also told state TV on Tuesday: Some 116 people died in Tehran in 24 hours. We had the worst situation in the past 72 hours. Twenty-five in every 100,000 people are infected, which is considered critical and red. In Tehran, we are moving far beyond this threshold.

How the situation became so critical?

The Iranian regime announced the existence of COVID-19 in Iran towards the end of February. This was at least a month and a half after the virus had been transmitted from China to Iran. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) published reports of the regime’s National Emergency Organization, showing that patients diagnosed with COVID-19 had been hospitalized in early January. The regime refused to inform the public about the coronavirus outbreak in Iran. One of the reasons was the mullahs’ plan to hold their sham parliamentary elections with people coming to the ballot box, to legitimize their rule following the brutal crackdown on major Iran protests in November. This rather “selection” met an unprecedented boycott. Nevertheless, those few regime supporters who participated became host of the coronavirus and spread the virus. The regime refused to lock down the country for months.

When it did, the regime refused to financially help people during the quarantine period, because the regime was busy funding its terrorist proxy groups or building new missiles. So, they forced people back to work, reopened schools, held college entrance exams and the Ashura mourning ceremonies, causing the virus to spread more among people.

The real reason

The major Iran protests pushed the regime to the edge of collapse. The mullahs were able to temporally quell the society by killing 1500 protesters; however, as the regime’s own officials and state media keep warning, people’s anger and another uprising are like “ashes under the fire.”

When the COVID-19 came to Iran, the mullahs seized the opportunity. The regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, called it a test and blessing, Rouhani downplayed the crisis, and other officials followed their lead. In a nutshell, the regime tried to use COVID-19 and its mass casualties to control the society. Now the situation is even out of the regime’s control. The rising COVID-19 death is parallel to people’s rising hatred of the regime and its criminal policies.

In addition, the regime tried to blame sanctions as the reason for shortage of medication and tools to combat the novel coronavirus. Besides the fact that medications are not under international sanctions, many of the regime’s outlets have acknowledged that people’s economic problems are due to the regime’s wrong economic policies. In this regard, the state-run Hamdeli daily, referring to Iran’s collapsing economy, on Saturday, wrote: “Is the current economic situation the result of sanctions only, or is it the result of incorrect economic and political policies of a group of policymakers, legislators, and planners?”

In addition, the Setare-Sobh daily further highlighted in an article on Saturday that Iran’s economic problems are due to the regime’s mismanagement. “Some people have always benefited from the country’s economic crisis and do not want to solve problems. The country’s current poor economic situation is not the result of the actions of one government and one person, but 40 years of wrong policies and ill-considered decisions have put the country in an economic crisis.”

The solution

As to the solution, the international community must intervene and independently address the COVID-19 crisis in Iran and help the deprived people. But the ultimate solution is what Iranian opposition president, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, has recently repeated: “The rapid rise in the number of the Coronavirus victims in Iran is part of the mullahs’ strategy of creating mass casualties to forestall the danger of an uprising and their overthrow,” thus, “Today, regime change in Iran is indispensable not only to freedom and democracy in Iran but also to the health of each and every individual in Iran and to the protection of their houses, cities and villages against natural disasters.”