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Iran’s Regime Takes People’s Lives Hostage Amid Coronavirus to Lift Sanctions, While It Pursues Terrorism

Iran: Tehran Metro without social distancing amid coronavirus outbreak - April 2020
Iran: Tehran Metro without social distancing amid coronavirus outbreak – April 2020

Since the coronavirus outbreak in Iran along with its cover-up inside Iran, the regime’s diplomatic organizations such as its Foreign Ministry have focused on blaming the United States sanctions for high mortality rate in Iran.  

The “Ara-Asra Research Center,” a think-tank close to the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, in a report published on March 14had stressed and guided the regime’s diplomats to make diplomatic efforts by the regime’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and using unofficial diplomatic relationships push for the immediate lifting of all sanctions, including US sanctions, as well as using the medical society to paint Iran’s regime as a “victim” and not an epicenter of the disease. And in doing so, the other party should be accused of conducting bioterrorism. 

Meanwhile, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) obtained news from inside the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its Quds Force, indicating that the Quds Force is continuing to transfer cash to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Part of the money is sent in the form of special packages and suitcases carried by the Quds Force’s Intelligence Protection Officers in flights from Tehran to Lebanon. In addition, parts of the transferred cash pay for the expenses of Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and other parts pay Hezbollah forces deployed in Syria and their families. 
These actions confirm that the regime is financially capable to help the Iranian people, yet instead the mullahs are using the country’s financial resources to fund terrorism.  In addition, the huge financials foundations affiliated with Khamenei, despite having financial resources, have been no help to people and aimed to use the epidemic as an opportunity and as a lever of pressure to lift international sanctions.  

The Iranian Resistance had repeatedly highlighted that these huge holdings and financial institutions like the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO) and Astan Quds Razavi, should be made available to the public to fight the coronavirus.  

The state-run Jomhuri–e Eslami daily in its editorial by its editor-in-chief since 1981, Massih Mohajer, wrote: “Considering the economic recession caused by the coronavirus, what will the big financial institutions such as the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, the Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution and Astan Quds do if they do not spend their money for the impoverished people?”  

“These financial powers include the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution and Astan Quds Razavi. The vast financial and facilities these centers possess, if used to help the damaged society sectors by the coronavirus, will resolve these sectors’ problems rapidly and completely. These assets and facilities belong to people and should be exactly used in such situations to resolve people’s problems,” the article added.  

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Behzad Nabavi, a government minister in several administrations, said in an interview with the state-run Alef news agency on September 21, 2019: “In our country, there are four institutions which control 60 percent of the national wealth. This includes Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Directive (Setad Ejraie Farman Imam), Khatam-olAnbiay Base, Astan-e Quds and Foundation of the Oppressed and Disabled. None of these institutions are in connection with the government and parliament.” 

In a report published In November about the role of the Astan Quds Razavi (AQR)the National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed how the regime, particularly the IRGC and Quds Force, are using this huge financial institution to finance terrorism and recruit professional spies and mercenaries around the world.

“Even if Astan-e Quds Razavi is not Iran’s richest conglomerate, its authorities say, it is the biggest Islamic financial endowment (Moqofati). AQR manages all the financial endowments accrued over centuries, and the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, appoints its custodian.  In the last 40 years, only three individuals have held this position,” read the NCRI’s report.  

According to the NCRI’s report, AQR finances the New Horizon conference and organization which has been sanctioned by the U.S. State Department on February 13, 2019. The New Horizon’s main task, according to the NCRI’s report, is “providing cultural cover for the Quds Force’s terrorist acts and obtaining security intelligence. This is accomplished, for instance, by holding “conferences” and other events to recruit agents for the IRGC’s Quds Force and obtain information from foreign citizens.” 

“The relationship between AQR and the terrorist Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, particularly with its commander Qassem Soleimani, has expanded in recent years,” read the report.  

At that time, the NCRI wrote that “The Iranian regime uses foundations such as Astan-e Quds to circumvent sanctions and fund its oppressive and terrorist policies Subsequent to the blacklisting of the IRGC and the expansion of US sanctions aimed at cutting off the regime’s economic resources, the regime has utilized AQR and similar entities to circumvent the sanctions and to finance its repressive and terrorist policies.”  

As the coronavirus continues to claim more lives in Iran, the regime continues its oppression inside Iran and funding terrorism abroad. The reason is the regime is based on these two pillars and prioritizes them over people’s lives. Nevertheless, the mullahs are taking people’s lives hostage and use them as a lever of pressure to lift sanctions on their illicit activities. The regime has the financial capability and has received, yet mainly rejected, financial and humanitarian aid (the latter not even included in the U.S. sanctions) but it is unwilling to help the Iranian people.  

As the NCRI’s president-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi has said on numerous occasions: “For Khamenei and Rouhani, the lives and well-being of the people are worthless. They only want to protect their regime from the threat of uprising. The criminal decision to send people to work is a crime against humanity and will cause countless number of victims.”  

The IRGC and the regime’s major financial institutions, that have plundered the Iranian people’s wealth, can pay for the expenses of workers, wage earners and the unemployed to protect them during the lockdown to protect them from contracting the COVID-19,” she added.  

There are no obstacles or prohibitions for the purchase and import of medicines and medical equipment for the clerical regime, but rather than lives of the people of Iran, they are only concerned about their own pockets suffering from sanctions,” said Mrs. Rajavi.  

Since years ago, the Iranian Resistance has announced that food, medicines, and the unpaid salaries of nurses, workers and teachers must be provided under the UN supervision,” Mrs. Rajavi concluded.