On Sunday, state-run media outlets published reports claiming the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, met with several nurses and family members of those medical professionals who died due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Instead of offering solutions to address nurses’ dire consequences and the country’s worsening Covid-19 crisis, Khamenei spoke of the “enemy” trying to “change the place of the oppressor and the oppressed.”
Khamenei’s blatant remarks come when the death toll due to coronavirus has surpassed 488,100. Iranian people, particularly nurses, blame Khamenei for the high death toll due to his order to ban the import of American and European vaccines.
Hundreds of Iranian nurses have died due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Dozens of them have committed suicide due to their poor working conditions, and many have left the country. These facts have been confirmed by many Iranian officials.
“Unfortunately, with 130 dead nurses who were fighting COVID-19, we are among the countries with the greatest number of infections and deaths among nurses,” said the Head of Iran’s Nursing Organization, Mohammad Mirza Beigi in April 2021.
“In 2020, at least 1250 nurses applied for immigration. Although upon estimates, the real figure would be 1.5 or 2 times more. Let’s take an average of 1500 people. We can say that this equals 30 nursing schools that train human resources, and this is a wake-up call for the health system,” said Abbas Ebadi, Deputy Minister of Nursing at the Ministry of Health, on December 10.
“We have 100,000 unemployed nurses in the country, while the shortage of nurses in the country’s hospitals is very noticeable, and unfortunately, no one acts to recruit nurses,” said Mohammad Sharifi Moghadam on December 5.
There have been dozens of protests by Iranian nurses in the last few weeks. Unlike other countries, nurses in Iran were deprived of their basic rights, let alone special bonuses, during the Covid-19 outbreak. Nurses in Iran do not receive their salaries for months on. The situation is worse for nurses who have temporary contracts. They are on the front line of the fight against Covid-19, but many of them do not have insurances.
These temporary contracts do not include benefits, bonuses, or incentives, and their monthly income is around 4 million tomans or $134, based on the dollar exchange rate at the free market as of December 13, 2021. Nurses with official contracts receive nearly 7 million tomans or around $235. This amount is far less than what nurses in other countries make.
In the United States, registered nurses receive $77,460 or nearly $6,000 per month.
One might argue that Iran is under sanctions. But this is not true. The Iranian regime has enough money to help nurses. According to the Iranian Resistance’s exclusive report in April 2020, the regime’s terrorist proxy groups and mercenaries’ salaries “range from $800 to $1,500 and the average amount is about $1,000.”
Khamenei, who shed crocodile tears for Iranian nurses on Sunday, has “assets estimated at about $95 billion,” according to a study conducted by Reuters in 2013. He controls several financial institutions that control Iran’s resources and wealth.
Khamenei has refused to spend a single dollar on Iran’s collapsing healthcare system. Since the first day of the Covid-19 outbreak, Khamenei and his regime called this deadly virus a “test” and “blessing.” He explicitly banned certified American and British vaccines in January.
He also insisted on producing the so-called domestic “vaccines.” The domestic vaccine was produced by the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), a huge financial institution Khamenei controls.
“Two weeks ago, Ali Tajernia told Sharq daily: ‘It seems that Barakat had presold its vaccine. It seems that the reason for not wanting to buy the vaccine from western countries was that Barakat had received 200,000 Tomans for each dose of the vaccine. If we multiply this by 120 million vaccines, Barkat took over $ 1 billion from the government funds,’” the state-run Mardom Salarie daily wrote on September 23, 2021.
In other words, Khamenei has not only cared for nurses but is behind their current deplorable situation. He could have decreased coronavirus’s mortality and infection rate by allowing certified vaccines to enter the country or allocating enough funds to the country’s declining healthcare system. Yet, he refused to do so.
The latest propaganda by Khamenei truly portrays his fear of the Iranian people. The recent strike by Iranian teachers and ongoing protests in Iran by people from all walks of life are signs of a restive society. Khamenei tries to whitewash himself from Iran’s Covid-19 catastrophe with over 488,100 deaths and an increasing public hatred toward the regime by shedding crocodile tears for people.