The eligible workforce is roughly 26 million, but at least 10 million of those were unemployed before the coronavirus struck, with youth unemployment at 40% and the number of those below the poverty line at 33%. Now, the country is grinding to a halt, but the regime is not going to help the people.
Despite what the regime says, this is not the fault of US sanctions. It is purely the result of the mullahs’ rule, according to a former member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson, in particular supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei.
Stevenson, the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, wrote: “Their policy of aggressive military expansionism across the Middle East has seen them consistently pour men and resources into backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his murderous civil war, while they simultaneously drove the genocidal campaign against the Sunni population of neighboring Iraq through their outright support for the brutal al-Hashd al-Shaabi, the so-called Shi’ia popular mobilization forces. They have openly financed and supplied the Houthi rebels in Yemen and continue to provide vast funding for the Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.”
He advised that the mullahs, known for enriching themselves with their people’s wealth, horrendous human rights abuses, and the export of terrorism, have become international pariahs. Stevenson highlighted how the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which controls over 80% of the economy, have been stealing money and aid from the people and using it to fund war and terrorism. He explained that Khamenei has an estimated $200 billion. Any of this money could be used to help the Iranian people.
However, the regime wants to accuse the US of creating the coronavirus to kill Iranians specifically. This, the mullahs think, will deflect responsibility and their people’s anger. The mullahs are wrong. The Iranian people know that the mullahs:
- refused to quarantine Qom, the epicenter of the outbreak
- denied the spread of the virus to increase voter turnout at the elections
- are hiding the true death toll, which now exceeds 11,000
The World Health Organization’s director of emergency operations, Dr. Rick Brennan, said after visiting Iran last week that coronavirus cases there are five times greater than what is reported. It appears the only reliable information source is the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), which has been exposing the death toll on social media.
All of this is causing the regime to panic, according to Stevenson, who noted that President Hassan Rouhani has completely changed his tune on the virus and now believes 70% of the county will be infected. Stevenson pointed out that the mullahs have also been hoarding protective equipment, like masks and sanitizers for themselves.
Stevenson, who chaired the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup in the European Parliament, wrote: “The 80 million Iranian citizens are fed up with their corrupt, fundamentalist rulers. They are fed up with living in poverty and deprivation as the mullahs siphon off the country’s wealth to fill their coffers and to finance conflict and terror throughout the Middle East. They demand the release of Khamenei’s stolen billions to pay for proper healthcare and for financial support for workers who have been forced to stay at home… Most of all, the people of Iran are asking the U.N. Security Council to investigate the regime for its ongoing crimes against humanity.”