In the past week, Iran hit new records in regard to the coronavirus pandemic. While the world managed to reduce the death rate, Iran’s daily fatality cases continuously rise. In this context, officials can no longer cover-up the bitter reality of the Covid-19 crisis. However, they lay blame on the people to vindicate themselves.
Given the government’s horrible policies and decisions, the health crisis has claimed over 135,000 lives as of the end of October. According to reports tallied by the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the death toll surpassed 137,200 as of October 30.
However, the Health Ministry conceals the real stats to contain public fury against the government’s imprudence. In this context, high-ranking officials are deeply concerned over the revelation of their failures. For instance, On October 28, President Hassan Rouhani blamed officials for “confusing” the population.
“Based on the viewpoint of [Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, we have appointed a spokesperson. People should only trust the words of this official… this official’s remarks should be the source of our positions,” he said.
However, the stats speak loud and clear. On the same day, Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, the chief of Tehran’s City Council, rejected Rouhani’s hollow optimistic claims and admitted, “Covid-19 is far ahead of us, and we have fallen behind.”
He also implicitly questioned the government’s non-transparency and concealment of the actual coronavirus victims. “The number of deaths is increasing day by day. Well, we had the information and stats from Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery… we did not have stats from hospitals, but we did have stats from the cemetery, that is more precise than the numbers from the hospitals. It is clear that Covid-19 is defeating us,” he said.
The fact that the country is in an emergency state even according to official statistics. In this respect, Reza Karami Mohammadi, the head of Tehran’s Crisis Management Organization, provided an interesting measure. “In the past eight months, we have lost 33,000 of our compatriots while during the [Iran-Iraq] war, we had 30,000 casualties per year,” he said.
This is while the country’s medical professionals are doing their best to counter the virus, and hundreds of them have lost their lives to the disease or cannot return to work due to the impact of Covid-19. In other words, Iran’s healthcare system has almost been collapsed. This is the main reason for the national death rate being higher than the international average.
“Anywhere you see the number of Covid-19 deaths being higher than the international average, it is because the medical system has been overloaded,” said Ali Jafarian, head of the transplant department in Tehran Khomeini hospital.
#Iran Coronavirus Update
More than 134,500 people have died of the novel #coronavirus in 460 cities checkered across all of Iran's 31 provinces, according to the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) October 27, 2020
However, the government persists in costly foreign policies instead of supporting the health department. Moreover, the supreme leader Ali Khamenei ordered citizens to aid each other while he owns a multi-billion-dollar business. According to the official IRNA news agency, four Khamenei-controlled institutions dominate 60 percent of Iran’s national wealth.
Furthermore, this is not the whole story and tens of millions of people are exposed to the disease during the upcoming months. “Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak until last month, 35 million people have contracted the virus at least once, and 50 million other people are threatened,” said Deputy Health Minister Reza Malekzadeh on October 27.
The ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have not only taken hostage the Iranian people’s fate and assets, but they threaten citizens’ lives and health. In this regard, dissidents argue that Iranians demand their national resources be spent on their dilemmas, not to benefit extremist groups or to fund terrorism and warmongering in the region and across the globe.