This criminally negligent decision was announced by President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday, just after the country entered the Islamic month of Ramadan. Many have questioned the decision, highting that doing this before the outbreak is under control will lead to more infections and deaths, particularly as many will want to attend religious sites during this, the particularly holy month.
Even Rouhani’s own remarks about reopening the sites do not signify that he believes the danger has passed.
He said: “We don’t know when the Coronavirus outbreak will end and … (that) the burden is almost completely on people’s shoulders.”
Despite this admission, he still said that religious sites would open in 127 virus-free areas, although it’s worth noting that none of those places deemed safe actually are.
So why would the regime do this? Much like their horrifying decision to send people back to work, the answer is money.
These religious places have been a great source of income for the regime since they stole power in 1979. It has created financial empires for the mullahs and this money is put in foundations controlled solely by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei; money that they spent on terrorism and other nefarious causes.
Of course, another reason is propaganda. The regime uses religious sermons to spread pro-mullah messages throughout the nation, though few Iranians will actually buy into these lies.
They also use it to show the world their support and to boost morale among the suppressive forces, especially now, during a time when morale is low and the international community is questioning the regime’s support from the people.
The Iranian Regime Is at An Impasse
They did not support the quarantine in the first place, by paying people to stay home, which resulted in starvation. The regime is terrified that those who cannot afford to feed their families will take to the streets in an uprising, like that of November 2019 and January 2020. And the regime supports security over the lives of its people, so they sent people back to work and will send them back to propaganda sites.
Of course, this will lead to more deaths and increase the chances of a popular uprising.