The concrete and current case of this famous phrase is the emphasis and insistence of the Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei on the truthfulness and ‘transparency’ of the ‘state’s information system’: “Iran has been one of the most transparent countries in the field of the coronavirus. Unlike some of the countries that put political, economic and … expeditions ahead of their own people, we did not act like them.” (Government’s news website, dolat.ir, 2 March 2020)
Now after the two weeks and while the situation in Iran has become critical, most of the Iranian people and the Internet activists, testify that in the concept of transparency and veracity, “there is no trust on you”
This new claim of Ali Rabiei, like all others boasted by the regime in the past 41 years, has been mocked by the Iranian people and the countries involved with the coronavirus.
Some years ago, former Iranian President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani once described the bloody censorship of the press and writers and dissidents, the brutal suppression of women, the massacres of thousands of people, and state-sponsored terrorism of Khomeini as ‘the unparalleled democracy of the world’.
This is the same bastion of democracy against which the UN has repeatedly issued condemnation resolutions over its extra-democratic services to the continued human rights abuses. The UN has condemned the regime 66 times with the majority of the international community votes.
It’s enough to refer to the state media to see how ridiculous Rabiei’s speeches and claims are, that even the regime’s official couldn’t prevent themselves to laugh at him:
“In the recent period, the authorities lied enough to the public … The person who broadcasts the exact news on the internet is being arrested. Some officials believe that the lack of public awareness is in the country’s interest. Be honest with people once and for all. The people are exploding.” (Jahan Sanat Daily, 1 March 2020)
The statistics released by the official tribunes are vastly different from the statistics of international sources. The disease has had a 2% mortality rate worldwide, and even in Wuhan, the center of coronavirus in the world, but official statistics in Iran show nearly 8% mortality. (Hamdeli Daily, 1 March 2020)
What threatens our society more than the coronavirus is the risk of mistrust, mental turmoil, and feelings of helplessness and self-determination. (Arman Daily, 1 March 2020)
Kianoush Jahanpour, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, 29 February 2020: “According to the latest official statistics, 867 people have been confirmed to have the virus.”
Deputy Minister of Health Qasim Janbabai on 29 February 2020 pointed out that the number of infected is about 60,000 people.
Most government’s media have acknowledged that the virus had entered Iran in 21 and 22 January, but the government didn’t announce it, because of the ceremony of the anniversary of the Iranian revolution in 1979.
This government press repeatedly wrote that, despite warnings, the Mahan air owned by IRGC did not suspend flights to China even once.
The head of the medical department at the University of Gilan announced that we had repeatedly observed coronavirus symptoms, but they (the government) did not pay attention and suddenly told us you were in the center of the coronavirus.
This is the case of the regime’s truthfulness, and it is clear that the main victims of these lies are the people.
The translation of Ali Rabiei’s words, of course, found its true example in today’s situation in Iran, when the regime surprised the Iranian people with its transparency and the sudden announcement of the coronavirus outbreak on 20 February. This blow of this transparency now is not just for the Iranian people; while most countries with the coronavirus say that Iran is the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis.