After pushing for holding the Muharram mourning ceremonies despite the coronavirus outbreak and its rising death toll, the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader will not physically attend these ceremonies.
This action means how the regime’s officials, particularly Khamenei and his president Hassan Rouhani, are careless about people’s lives. But the regime’s mismanagement of this crisis, from downplaying it to forcing people back to work, holding college entrance exams and now holding Muharram religious ceremonies, indicate a far more sinister and criminal intention. This is nothing but using the COVID-19 outbreak to quell the restive Iranian society.
Background and Facts
The major Iran protests rattled the Iranian regime’s foundations. The mullahs were able to hold their grip on power, after Khamenei ordered his forces to “do whatever it takes,” thus giving them a license to kill that resulted in 1500 deaths. Yet, in less than two months, the Iranian society once again erupted, when the regime was forced to admit it had shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 passengers. People soon started chanting slogans such as “death to dictator,” showing their desire, no matter how much brutality this regime showed during November protests, is regime change.
In addition, the regime’s malign activities further increased its international isolation. To somehow legitimize their rule and prevent another uprising, the mullahs denied the existence of COVID-19 in Iran and held their sham parliamentary elections. Although people boycotted the regime’s sham parliamentary election, but those few regime supporters became host of this virus and spread it across Iran. The regime’s subsequent cover-up expedited the spread of this deadly virus across Iran.
The Iranian regime denied the existence of coronavirus for over a month. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released documents obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from the Iranian regime’s National Emergency Organization, showing the first coronavirus cases were detected in early January. The MEK has announced that so far over 95,000 people have lost their lives due to the novel coronavirus.
In addition, during the regime’s infightings, some of its own officials admitted the regime deliberately denied the existence of the COVID-19 virus. The state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily published an interview with Mohammad Reza Mahboubfar, a member of the Iranian Health Ministry’s coronavirus task force, in which he said that the first coronavirus cases were recorded even earlier than that, around the end of December. Mahboubfar also said that the official estimates of infection and mortality rates account for only about five percent of the true total.
When the Iranian regime finally acknowledged the existence of this virus, it started downplaying it. People were told to stay at home, but roads were open. They told people to go into quarantine but refused to financially support them. Therefore, as more people were joining the army of starving people and the prospect of another uprising was looming, the regime forced the Iranian people back to work. While the regime’s health officials said the college entrance exams shouldn’t be held, the regime held it.
Now the regime intends to hold the Muharram mourning ceremonies, to use people’s religious sentiments for pursuing its goal of paralyzing the Iranian society that yearns for regime change. A glance at the regime’s behavior shows why Khamenei had described this deadly virus as “blessing and test.”
All the while, the Iranian regime knows that its mismanagement of this crisis will further increase the Iranian society’s restiveness.
In this regard, the state-run Mostaghel daily on July 13 wrote: “This nation will not forget how it was abandoned during these bitter days. This will affect the upcoming incidents. Soon, people will come to their table for eating, and their despair of an empty table will lead them to protest on busy streets.”