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“Iranians suffer from a virus more deadly than coronavirus” – Iran state media

Iran coronavirus outbreak—March 2020
Iran coronavirus outbreak—March 2020

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, March 11, 2020—The regime’s own officials are making alarming remarks about the coronavirus epidemic in Iran, which has now claimed more than 3,000 lives (update: the death toll has reached 3,300, according to MEK sources). “The [Health] Minister explained in the Supreme National Security Council session that if everything goes well, we will be reaching the [coronavirus] climax at April 9. Numbers will begin to drop afterwards but we will be engaged with this virus for another two months,” said Ali Asgari, head of the regime’s state TV and radio.

“This [virus] threatens our society more than anything else. Nearly ten percent of our population is over the age of 60 and nearly the same amount are prone to illnesses. Putting these numbers together, we have at least ten million high risk cases across the country,” said Mohammad Reza Najafi, a member of the regime’s Majlis (parliament).

 

UPDATE 11:00 PM CET

Over 3,300 people have died of the coronavirus in 149 cities throughout all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The number of victims in various cities and provinces are as follows: Qom 520, Gilan 510, the Greater Tehran area 500, Alborz 140, Qazvin 104, Mazandaran 200, Khorasan Razavi 302, Golestan 276, Kermanshah 110, Khuzestan 108, Fars Province 106, Lorestan 82, East Azerbaijan 26, and Yazd 23.

Iran’s coronavirus epidemic, being a direct result of the regime’s cover-up, mismanagement, and pervasive government corruption, has rendered confusion and aggravated internal feuds among the mullahs’ ruling factions. 

 

 

Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani, believed to have been sidelined and absent for the past few days, commented today on the coronavirus outbreak at a cabinet meeting. In contrast to his comments earlier, he warned that the virus should be taken seriously. A Majlis (parliament) Deputy said that Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani had written to regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, requesting that the Cabinet be in charge of the “committee to combat coronavirus.” Subsequently, Khamenei assigned Rouhani to the task.

In his remarks, Rouhani again shamelessly attempted to cover up the regime’s incompetence by downplaying the scale of the catastrophe. He said, “Frankly, let's not exaggerate the scale of this virus crisis any more than what it really is. Suddenly, some people claim that a province was totally destroyed, but when the Governor says only 12 have died and 120 have been discharged from the hospital on that day!”

Contrary to Rouhani’s remarks, Shahabuddin Bimeghdar, a Parliament Deputy, said today that in a small town of Golestan province, 40 people have died of coronavirus. The virus was transmitted by several attendees at an Islamic development conference in Qom. The belated reference is to the death of 40 people who had been infected in the small town of Gonbad-Kavus.

To counter the leaking of Iran’s actual death toll, the regime’s Prosecutor General, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri warned in a statement: "Any comments (regarding coronavirus) outside of the approved procedure are a breach of national security and the country’s interests.  Violators will be treated according to the laws."

Montazeri added that releasing coronavirus-related statistics "disturbs public opinion and undermines society’s psychological security " and is "a crime punishable by law under Articles 286, 698 and 746 of the Islamic Penal Code" with “severe consequences".

In another development, the situation in prisons is getting even more dire. At Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad, northeast Iran, political prisoners have been transferred to a ward housing virus-infected inmate. Today, Parvaneh Salahshuri, a regime MP acknowledged, “All prisoners are endangered due to the widespread coronavirus outbreak across Iran… generally, hygienic and sanitary conditions in prisons are unacceptable”. “Another problem is setting heavy bail for prisoners. In the past few days, bails as high as several hundred million tomans have been set as bail for the temporary release of the prisoners,” she added.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reiterated that due to the inhumane conditions in Iran’s prisons, inmates, especially political prisoners must be released immediately without any bail or conditions, otherwise coronavirus outbreak will cause a human catastrophe in prisons.

 

 

Mrs. Rajavi also warned of the deteriorating plight of Sunni compatriots in areas such as Gonbad-Kavus (northeast Iran), noting that Sunni residents in this city, including 500 villages, are subjected to dual pressure. They are suffering from the complete lack of any medical and hygiene facilities. Dozens of them have already lost their lives. The World Health Organization, therefore, must in particular provide aid to these disadvantaged people because the regime will do nothing for them.

2:00 PM CET

Farhikhtegan daily: “If the status quo continues for another 20 days, aside from a severe increase in public mistrust in our officials, we will be witnessing an unprecedented number of casualties.”

Hamdeli daily: “How can India with a population of over a billion and neighboring China manage and contain the coronavirus dilemma with such success? Take Iraq for example. They are controlling issues related to coronavirus very efficiently. All the while we fail to do so… unfortunately, prior to the coronavirus, the Iranian society is suffering from the virus of unprofessional and incapable officials; this virus is a thousand times more deadly and destructive than COVID-19.”

In response to questions about people who die of coronavirus, regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei once again emphasized on carrying out religious traditions for their burial. This goes against all precautions called for by physicians.

State media is also reporting that Hojjatollah Hassanzadeh, governor of Firuzkuh near Tehran, died of coronavirus on Tuesday, March 10. Mohammad Alavitabar, close to Khamenei and a former Majlis member, has died of COVID-19.

An advisor to the regime’s Health Minister also reports 14 bank employees have to this day died of coronavirus.

The mullahs’ judiciary is paving the grounds for crackdown measures. “Confronting fake news about the coronavirus and its publishers that endanger our society should be on our agenda,” the judiciary announced recently.

Meanwhile, Hassan Rouhani, the regime's president, still tries to play down the situation. 

Rouhani expressed grave concerns about public anger escalating over the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. “We should not pay attention to rumors about coronavirus. These rumors are circulating on the internet. They have even reached the newspapers and domestic media, including our TV networks. We must launch a filter and mask for these (rumors),” he said on Wednesday, March 11.

“Coronavirus is here. However, we shouldn’t install fear among the public. For example, they say conditions in this or that province is very bad. Well, its possible to have 10 or 15 people dying in one province!” Rouhani said in complete neglect and disrespect for people’s lives. “I’m not saying coronavirus is a simple issue, but we shouldn’t be exaggerating. We should live with it!”

“Some people say we should lock down cities. We discussed the issue in the cabinet and reached this conclusion that these issues result in more problems,” he added.