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Iranian officials admit having failed in containing the Covid-19 outbreak

Coronavirus has claimed more than 162,000 lives in Iran
Coronavirus has claimed more than 162,000 lives in Iran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, November 22, 2020—The recent resignation of Reza Malekzadeh, the Research Assistant of the Health Minister, and Ali Nobakht, Vice President and Secretary of the coronavirus Disease Advisory Council and the remarks of the regime’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki once again portrayed the regime’s failure in handling the Covid-19 crisis in Iran.

On the threshold of two weeks of Covid-19 “severe restrictions” imposed on a hundred cities, the regime’s internal conflicts have increased.

“What has the country’s university research apparatus done on Covid-19? What article have they presented to the sitting minister saying if you do this and that our health apparatus will be heading in better directions? Provide me one model on Covid-19 showing the estimates were correct,” said Health Minister Saeid Namaki on Thursday.

“Not even one estimate was right. Name me one minister who can manage the country’s health apparatus with such failed research results. The estimates so far have not been correct and ten epidemiologic models have been provided to me, none of which were correct and none were adequate to take any measures,” he added, according to the Mehr news agency, an outlet linked to the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

In reaction to Namaki’s remarks, his research assistant Reza Malekzadeh, announced his resignation and wrote: “Whenever the number of positive tested and death toll was raised you have shied away from accepting responsibility and when statistics had eased a bit, you claimed to teach the world how to manage the coronavirus crisis and even recently claimed to launch a vaccine production campaign in Iran.”

These remarks portray once again the regime’s failed policy toward coronavirus that had not even had a correct prognosis in the last nine months but was the main cause of the increased Covid-19 casualties.

Immediately after Malekzadeh, Ali Nobakht, Vice President and Secretary of the coronavirus Disease Advisory Council, resigned which indicates the depth of disruption in the regime's health system.

In this regard, in an open letter to Namaki, Dr. Seyed Moid Alavian, a retired university professor, mentioned the corrupt system of the Health Ministry which has caused a high Covid-19 death toll among Iranians.

“Simultaneous holding of two jobs by some officials, conflicts of interest, the establishment of pharmaceutical companies and rent-seeking in selling medicines needed by the people, and announcing the herd immunity as a misguided policy in controlling Covid-19 have resulted in the deaths of many Iranians to this day,” Alavian wrote.

“The Health Ministry team has failed in controlling the coronavirus and must raise the white flag and acknowledge its failure,” he added.

These remarks also show that the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, who tried to use coronavirus as a tool to maintain their regime are in a deadlock. On one hand, they’re faced with immense public outrage, including from the country’s medical staff who are demanding regime leaders to act. They warn that if serious measures such as quarantine and lockdown of the cities are not taken, the numbers of deaths could rise above 1,000 or even more per day.

On the other hand, implementing lockdowns will require Khamenei to use his regime’s vast assets to support the people and the economy, which is his red line. He uses the enormous assets of the country to maintain the security and widespread corruption of his regime. The regime always does things at the expense of the people such as sending them back to work during the pandemic when it should have locked down the country.

Therefore, both Khamenei and Rouhani forcibly accepted to only impose “severe restrictions” on hundreds of cities, which is raised much skepticism among regime insiders. Ironically, many countries that are in much better conditions than Iran have already started their lockdowns.

Minoo Mohraz, a member of the Coronavirus Task Force Committee called the regime’s restrictions a useless and security-purposed plan.

Now, these objections have reached the Health Minister and his assistant, who acknowledged that the huge number of coronavirus casualties was the result of a very wrong policy. This situation will without a doubt have more deadly consequences for the regime in the future.

The regime is facing a deadlock in handling the coronavirus crisis, and under the pressure of the public dissent, it takes measures that lack any coherence and plan. One moment, they talk about restrictions and the next, they discuss lockdown.

There is much dispute between the medical experts who insist on a lockdown and Rouhani’s system that insist on imposing restrictions. Therefore, this situation has resulted in an internal conflict within the regime. However, one should not forget that the people of Iran have paid the price of this failed policy. Over 160,000 lives have been lost until now as a result of mullahs’ criminal policies.