In its latest update published on August 23, Johns Hopkins University announced in considerable detail the Covid-19 mortality rate of the world’s most affected countries.

This university provides a chart based on the number of deaths per 100 confirmed cases. “Countries at the top of this figure have the most deaths proportionally to their COVID-19 cases or population, not necessarily the most deaths overall,” wrote the university in a statement publishing its findings.

The study indicates that the coronavirus death rate in Iran is 5.7 percent, ranking the country as the second most affected state in terms of fatalities. All the while, the chart is based on official figures that do not provide the entire truth. Notably, in recent months, Iranian health officials are constantly challenging the Health Ministry’s stats.

“The current Covid-19 numbers are twenty times what is being announced by the Health Ministry. This has resulted in people not taking this illness seriously,” said Dr. Mohammad Reza Mahboubfar, a member of the National Covid-19 Task Force on April 29 in an interview with the state-run Vatan-e Emruz daily.

Later in August, authorities shut down another state-run daily, Jahan-e Sanat, for quoting Mahboubfar’s remarks about the true number of Covid-19 cases and deaths being twenty times higher than Health Ministry announcements.

However, Mahboubfar was not the only official who question the regime’s official figures. At the July 18 session of the Covid-19 Task Force, regime President Hassan Rouhani said 25 million people had contracted the virus as of that day. “The Health Ministry’s Research Center is reporting, ‘Until now, 25 million Iranians have been infected with the novel coronavirus and between 30 to 35 million others will be exposed to contract the virus in the upcoming months,’” Rouhani said.

A day later, in an interview with the Fars news agency, affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), Massoud Mardani another member of the National Covid-19 Task Force, confirmed that 28 million Iranians have contracted the virus.

“Now, 28 million Iranians have contracted the novel coronavirus; 85 percent of whom are without symptoms. Given the health apparatus’ weakness, there will be many deaths if 35 million people contracted,” said Mardani on July 19.

In a tweet on March 9, Mustafa Faghihi, owner of the Iranian state-run news site Entekhab used strong words against regime Health Minister Saeed Namaki. “Mr. Namaki, don’t you want to announce the real statistics of the coronavirus deaths? OK, I will do your job! Dear Iranian people! The number of suspected Covid-19 deaths is nearly 2,000 across the country…, of which more than 130 people died yesterday in Tehran & Gilan alone.”

Mostafa Faghihi’s tweet exposing the actual coronavirus death toll

At the time, the official death count had stood at 222. However, the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran announced, “More than 2,600 people have died of the novel coronavirus across 127 cities of 30 Iranian provinces.”

On March 16, Dr. Rick Brennan, Director of Emergency Operations in the World Health Organization (WHO), said Iran’s coronavirus death toll is underreported. “The number of cases reported could represent only about a fifth of the real numbers,” he said upon his return from Iran.

In such circumstances, despite the health officials’ recommendations, the mullahs intended to hold crowded mourning ceremonies at all costs. “We must hold mourning ceremonies everywhere for Imam Hossein, in villages, cities and in areas where we have designated as red, yellow or alarming zones,” Rouhani stressed on July 25.

Read More:

The Mullahs Preserve Their Rule at the Expense of Iranians’ Lives

In this respect, such as many other cases, authorities force health officials to acquiesce to their demands and write “necessary protocols.” However, it is the people of Iran who are actually paying the mullahs’ mismanagement and insistence on horrible policies.

On July 8, Namaki revealed that he “was ordered to ask his personnel to write a protocol about how to reopen the country instead of how to shut it down.”

On August 19, in an interview with the state-run Hamshahri daily, Minoo Mohraz, a member of the National Covid-19 Task Force, shed light on the interference of political officials in health decisions. Notably, supreme leader Ali Khamenei had previously announced that all authorities must abide by health guidelines specified by the National Covid-19 Task Force. “We requested that college entrance exams be postponed… Stadiums are the best places for this… But they said no, and they forced the health ministry to write a protocol for the exams,” she said.

In this respect, on July 27, Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), tweeted, “The decision by Khamenei and Rouhani to hold mourning ceremonies of Moharram, is another instance of the mullahs’ demagoguery, deliberately sending people to their death. This is while the Hajj pilgrimages were canceled for the first time to protect the lives of Muslims.”

“Taking the maximum risk, #Iran nurses have been working for 6 months, contracting the virus group after group. The health system is in dire need of new healthcare workers. The regime’s refusal to hire new nurses is another part of their strategy of mass human casualties,” Madam Rajavi added.