Ramezan Pourghassem, the head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Ground Forces counter-intelligence branch and former deputy communications minister, died in Sari’s Khomeini Hospital, while Ahmad Tuyserkani, an advisor to judiciary chief Ibrahim Raisi, has also died.
Others reported to be infected with the coronavirus include Reza Rahmani, Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade in Iran, and Hossein Sheikholeslam, advisor to the mullahs’ Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
One doctor told the regime’s state TV: “The virus will reach everyone… the bad news is that if we don’t listen to the instructions provided, the situation may get completely out of control.”
The regime, which is only reporting 92 deaths and 2,822 infections, has canceled all Friday prayer gatherings for the second week running. One resident of Talesh, in northern Iran, pointed out that had the regime imposed a quarantine of the virus epicenter Qom before the election and provided the basic healthcare supplies (i.e. gloves, masks), the virus could have been stopped before it got this far.
Even MP Shahabedeen Beemeghdar appeared to agree, condemning the Health Ministry for not distributing “hygiene and medical products” to pharmacies and the regime as a whole for not grounding flights to and from China or quarantining Qom. While MP Bahram Parsai admitted that the regime’s death and infection toll should not be believed.
Former health minister Masoud Pezeshkian, the first deputy speaker of the regime’s parliament said Tuesday: “We should have quarantined the city of Qom from day one… This disease is not a joke… Hospitals are overflowing and there is no room for more patients, and it will get worse day by day. The economy and everything will be ruined. This is no joke. What would have happened if they shut down the country for 15 days? If we did so on day one, it would not have spread to the entire country… The numbers given are not real, because several patients have no symptoms. We find 95 people and two dies, then we say 2 have died out of a 100, while it may be that only 2% of 10,000 have died.”
Even the state-run media are criticizing the regime for their handling of this issue, which has led to hospitals declaring emergencies, victims being buried in unmarked graves, and criticism from the World Health Organization.
Still, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that this was “not such a major catastrophe” or “exceptional”, but merely a “passing issue”. He claimed that the regime has been keeping the public informed and that other countries were downplaying the virus.
Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi responded: “The only thing that matters for this regime and its officials is to keep their grip on power. People’s lives, health, and resources have no value for the ruling mullahs. The Iranian people have suffered the greatest damage and losses under their rule, as a result of external wars, domestic repression, poverty, unemployment, and illnesses.”