On Monday, Ahmad Amir Abadi Farahani, member of the regime’s parliament from the city of Qom, where coronavirus was first detected, revealed that 50 people in Qom had died withing the past two weeks due to the COVID -19.
Since the spread of this deadly virus, the Iranian regime’s officials, instead of taking necessary measures, have rushed to reject the spread of coronavirus and downplay the danger.
Continuing cover-up caused rapid spread of the virus; WHO intervention is an imperative and urgent.
Member of Parliament’s leadership: In two weeks, 50 people died in #Qom due to #COVID19 #Iran https://t.co/cNOYPhVJSL pic.twitter.com/AR2EyrxOFB
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 24, 2020
On the same day, Ali Rabiei, spokesperson for the government of Hassan Rouhani, and deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi held a joint press conference in which they tried to downplay the crisis.
“I deny the claim,” Harirchi said when questioned about the 50 deaths in Qom. “According to the directives of the government and the [Supreme National] Security Council, no one else is qualified to declare news like this. We have the information.”
Harirchi further added that anyone who has information in this regard should contact the government through private channels. “If the number of deaths in Qom is half or even a quarter of this figure, I will resign,” he said.
Harirchi also tried to justify the government’s shortcomings in providing safety and protective equipment to the public. “We have said it clearly that ordinary people do not need face masks,” he said.
When asked about the reason for the high casualty rates in Iran compared to other countries, Harirchi responded: “Other countries have a policy of concealment and denial.” Interestingly, the first signs of the coronavirus had been seen in Iran weeks earlier, but the regime’s own officials admitted that due to the elections, they had refrained from making them public.
To this, Rabiei added: “As the spokesperson of the government, I can tell you that many countries don’t have the transparency that we have. We acted in a very transparent way in this regard.”
These reactions are indeed due to the regime’s inhumane nature and its antipatriotic policies. Yet, there are several other reasons why the clerical regime has tried to downplay this crisis. First, the regime’s authorities, particularly supreme leader Ali Khamenei, are terrified of another popular uprising like the nationwide Iran protests in November which shook the regime’s foundations. Secondly, the regime was holding its parliamentary elections. Fearing a low election turnout and people’s boycott, which did happen, the regime tried to downplay the coronavirus crisis.
Following the regime’s crushing defeat of its sham parliamentary elections, Khamenei said: “A collective campaign was undertaken against people’s participation in the election. On social media, a variety of entities used every factor possible… Since a month, two months ago, they said this was not an election, not a real election, the Guardian Council has done this or that… And this latest illness (COVID-19) became an excuse. In other words, they did not miss the slightest opportunity and did not even waste a few hours.”
An MEK website reporter from Qom said: “More than 50 people have died. They’re burying the bodies and not giving them to their families. A 30-year–old lady was taken to a hospital. They released her saying she’s OK. She died while being taken to another hospital.”
Feb 24 – MEK website reporter from Qom, #Iran
More than 50 people have died. They’re burying the bodies & not giving them to their families.
A 30-year old lady was taken to a hospital. They released her saying she’s OK. She died while being taken to another hospital.#Covid_19 https://t.co/JgabuiDYEX
— People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) February 24, 2020
Local reports from Iran confirm the nationwide spread of the coronavirus. One such report from Arak, central Iran, reads: “Today I asked about one of my acquaintances in Amir Kabir Hospital. They said that (coronavirus) patients are taken to Khansari and Amir al-Momenin hospitals. The Intelligence Ministry is putting a lot of pressure on hospital personnel to prevent news from getting out. They don’t allow staff to wear N95 masks, and they’re only allowed to use normal surgical masks.”
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), while underscoring that the mullahs’ anti-human regime was continuing to engage in a criminal cover-up and systematic lies about the spread of COVID-19, said: “The intervention of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its dispatch of supervisory and emergency medical teams to Iran are both urgent and necessary.”
Iranian Regime’s criminal cover-up about Corona virus causes public anxiety, rise in number of victims.
Mrs. Rajavi calls on WHO to send supervisory and medical teams to #Iran #CoronavirusOutbreak https://t.co/7nHwMDDD6E
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 20, 2020