The US has been pursuing a “maximum pressure” strategy on Iran since pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018, citing the regime’s malign activities, and reinstating sanctions.
Now, the mullahs are attempting to blame their coronavirus outbreak and lack of response on that economic pressure, even though the sanctions have exemptions for medicine and other humanitarian goods. Not to mention that the regime already rejected US aid and expelled Doctors Without Borders, claiming that Iran had ample empty beds in intensive care units, something that was soon proved untrue but that the regime has refused to admit.
Of course, the regime does not need to get this money from elsewhere to ensure that the people are helped. The regime had much more than $5 billion tucked away in foundations controlled by the Supreme Leader and his cronies. But this money is used for malign activities, like terrorism and warfare, and any extra money gained by the Iranian regime will also be used for these nefarious purposes.
The regime claims that just over 6,000 people have died there from coronavirus, which is less than many of the economies that they would be borrowing this money from, so why would Iran need the money?
Well, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reports that at least 40,500 are now dead and that this number could double in a month unless the regime sends people back into quarantine. (After a lax lockdown, the regime allowed people back to work starting April 11 and reopened religious centers in early May, both of which helped spread the virus, but were vital measures to allow the regime to continue its propaganda and tamper down economic protests.
The Iranian people more than understand that the true problem for them is not the sanctions, but the regime; something they have said time and time again in nationwide uprisings and smaller protests.
The NCRI wrote: “If there is a silver lining in [the] provocative actions [of funding terrorists and violating the JCPOA] by the Iranian regime, it is that they may still undercut that regime’s efforts to gain sympathy from the IMF and from European leaders. Such actions pose an inherent threat that should make those entities wary of granting loans or sanctions relief under any circumstances. But in the midst of the pandemic, those same actions clarify the persistence of mullahs’ misplaced priorities.”