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Khamenei makes humiliating retreat on previous coronavirus remarks

Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei
Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 13, 2020—For the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began, Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei joined the Coronavirus Task Force committee meeting on May 10 through video conference, hinting that perhaps he is beginning to seriously think about the crisis that has engulfed the country for three months.

Although, similar to regime president Hassan Rouhani, Khamenei tried to portray a dominant image of his regime, but his video appearance in the meeting and his remarks are a retreat from his previously claim that the coronavirus “is not a big problem.” This time he mentioned that it is a serious issue and wished that the "young scientists of the homeland" hopefully could discover the vaccine for this "fraudulent virus." (In reality, however, the regime’s only effort to discover the vaccine has been a failed series of hacking attempts against scientific institutions and research labs in other countries.)

Khamenei tried to cover up the regime's criminal policy of sending people back to work during the pandemic and said, “The west has failed to manage the coronavirus crisis. People in these countries were attacking the shops.” He also emphasized that “the defeat of the West must be explained to the public."

Contradictions about reopening of religious places

Regarding reopening mosques, Khamenei first said does not comment on this issue and will follow medical rules but he went on to say that "the investigation on this issue should be left to those who understand the truth and the necessity of prayer.” Khamenei and the ruling mullahs have turned mosques, shrines, and religious ceremonies into a lucrative business and are looking for ways to resume their profit-making activities under the banner of Islam.

In his remarks, Khamenei refused to promise any help to millions of unemployed, hungry, or victims of coronavirus and instead called for a "Faithful Relief Exercise," which in effect means that the regime will not be tapping into its vast financial resources and the people must rely on popular efforts during the coronavirus crisis.  Khamenei’s remark comes against the backdrop of a series of warnings by the regime’s officials who have stressed that if the regime does not use its financial resources to help alleviate the economic pressure of the coronavirus outbreak, it might result in social unrest.

At this meeting, Rouhani praised Khamenei for withdrawing €1 billion from the National Development Fund for provision of unemployment benefits as well as the provision of health care.

Ironically, Saeed Namaki, the Minister of Health, had previously revealed that the one billion euros that Khamenei had agreed to provide to coronavirus response efforts have not yet reached the Ministry of Health. Also, even if it materialized, the one billion euros would only represent a small fraction of the $200-billion economic empire that Khamenei oversees.

Rouhani also claimed, “We did not allow the duality of bread and life in our country.” Maybe Rouhani is right about this one, because the regime took both the people’s life and bread from them and invested it to regime’s security and maintaining its power. But did it achieve this goal?

It seems that Khamenei came to answer the same question and wanted to pretend to have overcome and managed the coronavirus crisis.  He commended the people for their patience, which means he tried to indicate that with the strategy of high human casualties, he has been able to suppress the society and quell the “army of the poor” that is ready to rise. But this is a claim that neither Khamenei himself nor any of the regime's officials believe. Health officials warn that there are no white areas in the country! The Head of Coronavirus Task Force committee in Tehran warns that the city of Tehran is still the focal point of pandemic and said any reduction in health measures can have serious consequences. Even Rouhani's health minister warns that more dangerous peaks are on the way, especially in the autumn and has said, “If the virus changes behavior, all our equations will fall apart.”

The regime's political experts see these equations in political, social, and even security nature. The Daily Resalat warns on May 10: “undoubtedly, from now on, the slightest miscalculation in the management of this disease can lead to a national catastrophe.” It is clear that “catastrophe” for the regime does not mean losing human lives but the explosive conditions of the society that exploded in December 2017 and November 2019 nationwide uprisings.