However, the mullahs’ mismanagement and delay in adopting precautionary measures over the coronavirus outbreak has also taken a grip on the lives of several officials. Panic over the virus eventually compelled the authorities to cancel many public traditional rituals such as Friday prayers or public prayers in mosques.
The Iranian regime, of course, avoids announcing the real figure of fatalities as it concealed the news about the outbreak of the novel virus in the initial key days. Until now, the regime’s Health Ministry’s officials have confirmed over 6,500 cases and lesser than 200 victims. Several officials are seen among death tolls including, a former diplomat and hostage-taker Hossein Sheikholeslam, deputy head of Judiciary Ali Khalafi, and the supreme leader’s advisor Mohammad Mirmohammadi.
Truly, these 2,000 people have fallen victim to the authorities’ imprudence. However, in November 2019, more than 1,500 people who flooded into the streets to demonstrate their complaints about the hikes in gasoline prices were killed by the direct order of Ali Khamenei, the regime’s supreme leader. Officials have yet to announce the ultimate victims of the November protests and there are suspicions that the genuine death toll is even higher than 1,500.
Later, in January 2020, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) showdown a Ukrainian Airlines passenger jet that killed all 176 people abroad. For three days, the authorities denied announcing that the IRGC anti-aircraft had downed the airliner despite reliable evidence and documents. Finally, under international pressures they were compelled to admit to their crime, however, they didn’t explain why they had covered up their responsibility over three days. Notably, no one has been held to account for killing 176 innocent passengers.
These events have made a deep rift between Iranian society and their rulers who responded to any people’s grievances violently. The growing distance is displayed in non-participating of the people in the march marking the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Republic establishment and voter apathy over the sham parliamentary elections in February. Iranian officials needed citizens to attend polls despite all their “differences” since they realized that other nations would look to the elections as an index for the regime’s acceptance among the society, particularly after the two major protests in November and January.
However, the Iranian people also showed their distrust about the current leaders either being reformists or principlists. Remarkably, the regime definitely censored the news about the coronavirus outbreak to drag more people to the ballot boxes. Given this criminal disinforming of the people, even some of the mullahs’ proponents fell to the virus and lost their lives.
In summary, the regime’s failure in controlling and containing the novel disease showed that the Iranian people are the first victims of the mullahs’ rule. As they give no care to the people’s lives, even to those of their loyalists. These disgusting behaviors not only weakened the regime’s social base but also pushed many of their supporters who lost their loved ones due to the coronavirus to apathy or demonstrating their opposition to the rulers.