As Iran’s coronavirus death toll keeps growing, the state-run media are admitting that the regime is using the contagious disease to supress a restless society because protesting could result in the death of the protesters and anyone they come into contact with.
The Jahan-e Sanat daily wrote Monday: “The government has been reluctant to use scientific methods and vaccinations… Involving people in the problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, such as [grappling with] the disease and the economic pressures of the business downturn, deprives them of the power and incentive to pay attention to the way public affairs are run. It allows the [regime] to move toward its goals, ignoring the public interest.”
They further noted that the coronavirus crisis only delayed the uprising by the people of Iran and that once the pandemic has passed, the other issues will come to the forefront.
This assessment is not new or surprising. In fact, it was something that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei basically admitted to in March 2020 when he called the pandemic a “test” and “blessing”. It’s no coincidence that he made these comments so soon after the November 2019 uprising that shook the regime to its core.
If it were not clear enough that the regime was willing to sacrifice Iranian lives to maintain power, Khamenei banned the import of World Health Organisation-approved vaccines in January 2021, even those donated by charities. This ended the regime’s lie about sanctions preventing the import of vaccines, something denied by the vaccine distributor COVAX.
Jahan-e Sanat wrote: “With the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the creation of heavy national quarantines and the banning of citizens from public places, it seems that governments have reached a kind of calm. In areas where there were political protests, these protests have calmed down. Governments strive to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity to re-establish order in their societies.”
In a further article on Monday, the paper writes of the “sharp contradictions” in the statements on the pandemic by officials over the past year, including jokes, denials, and lies. They also wrote of the wrong decisions made, including the ramping up of traffic to and from China and the insistence that Iranians still take part in religious ceremonies without safety precautions.
While Moidfar warned: “The [regime] is now in international isolation. Unfortunately, people paid a lot for this, but they still did not get anything. That is why all these cases have caused a concentration of crises in Iran. In my opinion, you should be afraid of these crowds, maybe one day the people will be exhausted. Then acting will be useless. Today, people are worried about the future of society and their lives because society is on the verge of great crises. If crises pile up and the rulers do not listen to the voices of the protesters, the continuation of such a phenomenon can end the patience of the people. If there is no change in Iran soon, the mental state of the society will soon become more dangerous.”