The Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) tested new ballistic missiles during the second day of the final stage of their naval drills in southern Iran. While the mullahs are wasting national resources on the military, Iranian people are grappling with poverty and COVID-19.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) announced on Thursday that the COVID-19 death toll in 347 cities across Iran has exceeded 79,500. The Iranian regime’s top officials, such as its supreme leader Ali Khamenei, and president Hassan Rouhani, along with cover-up and systematic downplaying of the COVID-19 crisis, forced people back to work, citing “economic hardship” and that the economic cycle should not stop. Forcing people back to work has amplified the coronavirus death toll, and even the regime’s own engineered statistics confirm the rapidly rising number of casualties.
In this regard, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, in a report on the regime’s military wrote: “Iran’s official defense budget for 2019 is approximately $20.7 billion, roughly 3.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), as passed by the Iranian Majles.”
All the while, since the coronavirus outbreak the regime has been refusing to pay medical professionals or even allocate the necessary budget for combatting the novel coronavirus. Yet, the Iranian regime and its apologists have been blaming U.S. sanctions as the main reason for the rising number of COVID-19 fatalities in Iran and the damaged economic cycle.
In other words, the regime’s recent power exhibition alone rejects all its propaganda within the last few months in framing U.S. sanctions, which do not target medications, for the ongoing coronavirus crisis in Iran. Meanwhile, it further confirms the regime’s intention of using COVID-19 to oppress the Iranian society.
This is not a first time the regime has been spending money on terrorism and its malign activities while public are suffering. In an interview with the state-run Etemad Online news agency published on May 20, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a former Member of the regime’s Majlis (Parliament) National Security Commission, said: “When I went to Syria, some complained that I had caused expenses, but I will say this again: We may have given $20-30 billion to Syria. The money of our people was spent there.”
In addition, in January, Ali Larijani, former speaker of the Majlis, announced that with the personal approval of Khamenei, the parliament has approved a 200 million Euro budget supplements to the IRGC’s Quds Force for the last two months of the Iranian calendar year from the country’s “National Development Fund.”
Meanwhile, the regime’s wrong economic policies and its institutionalized corruption have forced the majority of the Iranian people into poverty. Iran’s falling GDP, the rising inflation and liquidity growth that has reached over 31 percent has put enormous pressure on the Iranian society. The state-run Eqtesad News website reported on June 4: According to the Majlis Research Center, the poverty line of four-person households in Tehran has increased from 2.5 million tomans to 4.5 million tomans in the last two years, which means that the inflation rate has increased by 80%, and this inflation rate has led to significant growth in the poverty line in Tehran and other parts of the country. This, along with a significant reduction of general income, has led to an increase in the poverty rate over the years, and the available evidence suggests that this variable is increasing in 2019 and 2020.
The regime uses every cent to fund its illicit activities. All the while, due to its institutionalized corruption and adventurism, Iran’s national currency is rapidly losing its value against the U.S. dollar. Today, $1 was exchanged at 23,550 tomans on the Iranian market. The exchange rate on Friday, June 19, was 18,800 tomans, and it has increased by nearly 20 percent in less than two months. In other words, the value of Iran’s currency and the purchasing power of employees and the underprivileged have fallen by 25 percent in less than two months, and the people have become poorer in a matter of two months. In addition, the freefall in the value of a country’s currency is an indicator of its government’s absolute economic bankruptcy.
So why, despite the evident economic hardship of people and its own bankruptcy, is the regime testing new missiles and bragging about it?
Grappling with international isolation and facing a restive society which with its uprising in November 2019 shook the regime’s foundation, the religious fascism ruling Iran needs to boost the morale of its demoralized forces via this hollow show of power. In addition, the regime needs missiles and its nuclear program along with funding terrorism to export domestic crises abroad and blackmail the international community.
As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has said: “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 a countless number of victims.”
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 #COVID19 #Iran pic.twitter.com/BQ7ANf7jkq
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) April 11, 2020
In other words, the regime will not stop its malign activities, and it is not willing to help people amid the pandemic. All the promises made by the regime’s officials are only meant to prevent people from rising up.
As Mrs. Rajavi has said: All the promises by the mullahs to the deprived and calamity-stricken people of Iran are hollow and worthless. The only way to end poverty, destitution, and unemployment is to end the mullahs’ evil dictatorship and establish freedom and people’s sovereignty.
All the promises by the mullahs to the deprived and calamity-stricken people of #Iran are hollow and worthless. The only way to end poverty, destitution, and unemployment is to end the mullahs’ evil dictatorship and establish freedom and people’s sovereignty #FreeIran2020 pic.twitter.com/fIRdfGAIbx
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) May 21, 2020