Much like the regime’s President Hassan Rouhani, Khamenei has previously attempted to showcase a strong image of the regime; ready and able to defeat the virus, which he claimed was not a big problem.
This time, however, he called it a serious issue and expressed his hope the Iranian scientists could create a vaccine. (Although, it appears that the regime has been working harder on hacking the systems of overseas scientific institutions and research labs.)
Of course, it is hard to imagine that the regime cares greatly about defeating this virus. After all, rather than pay the people to stay home, the regime forced people back to work from April 11 and reopened religious sites to make more money, which has led to a second spike in the virus.
Khamenei refused to help the poor or sick during this recent appearance, effectively saying that the regime would not be using the vast resources held in its foundations or in the pockets of the mullahs to alleviate economic pressure, even though many officials have said that doing nothing will result in social unrest and possibly lead to the destruction of the regime.
The state-run Daily Resalat warned on May 10 that “the slightest miscalculation in the management of this disease can lead to a national catastrophe”, by which they mean the explosive conditions that led to nationwide uprisings in December 2017 and November 2019.
But still, Rouhani praised Khamenei for withdrawing €1 billion from the National Development Fund to pay for unemployment benefits and health care, even though that is not enough to make a difference. Health Minister Saeed Namaki also said recently that this money has not yet materialized.
Yet still, Khamenei is claiming victory over the West in terms of the approach to the virus. Even though, both he and regime’s officials know that they cannot suppress the poor forever. Even though, there are no virus-free areas in the country. The Head of the Coronavirus Task Force committee warned that Tehran is still the epicenter of the virus and any reduction in health measures will have serious consequences.
It is clear that the coronavirus will still be a massive threat to Iranians for as long as the mullahs remain in power, so the only solution is an overthrow.