Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, August 10, 2020—In his remarks at Sunday’s Coroanvirus Task Force meeting, Iranian regime’s President Hassan Rouhani mentioned that he is under pressure regarding holding Muharram ceremonies and yearly mourning gathering for Hossein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
“They wrote to me that the Hajj ceremony, which is obligatory (in Islamic traditions), wasn’t held this year, but you are insisting on holding mourning ceremonies for Imam Hossein, which is not mandatory,” Rouhani said. “If we say there shouldn’t be mourning in the month of Muharram, it isn’t right and it is unbearable for our society… this is heartbreaking for our people… we can have mourning, but with smaller crowds.”
Protests and oppositions, even inside the regime
In contrast to the insistence of Rouhani and regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the medical staff are against holding Muharram mourning and some members of the coronavirus Task Force Committee have warned that mourning ceremonies are not consistent with Covid-19 protocols.
Minou Mohrez a member of the Committee said: “The protocols will not prevent the spread of the COVID-19 during the Muharram mourning. With masks, we can not prevent the spread of the virus during the month Muharram.”
She also added that: “The coronavirus has morphed, and its contagiousness has increased tenfold. In comparison to April, the number of patients in the Tehran hospital where I’m working has increased sixtyfold.”
In a letter to state institutions, a group of doctors and medical staff pleaded for not holding mourning ceremonies in the month of Muharram and have warned that holding these events can cause hundreds of deaths.
Mohammad Reza Mahboubfar, another member of the Committee, said in his remarks in the Jahan-e Sanat daily on August 18, that “Exactly one month before the official announcement of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, which means in mid-December, the first coronavirus patient was observed, but at that time the government covered up the news due to political and security reasons and after the event of the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on February 12 and legislative elections, they made it public.”
Official coronavirus statistics are one-twentieth of the reality
Mahboubfar, who spoke to the state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily, also added: “Unfortunately, from the very beginning transparent reporting was not provided to the public. Most certainly, these numbers have been engineered from the very beginning of the coronavirus epidemic.
“Anyhow, information is given to the society based on political and security reservations. In my opinion the numbers reported by the Health Ministry (cases and deaths) are one-twentieth of the true figures,” he said, according to the state-run Jahane Sanat daily.
These remarks show that the regime’s aim is to continue its inhuman policy of inflicting large fatalities and using the coronavirus outbreak as a sort of barrier against public outrage and revolt. The Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) announced on Sunday that over 85,500 people had died of the novel coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak. Iran has the highest coronavirus deaths in the Middle East. The official death count declared by the regime stands at 18,427 around a fifth of the actual figure.
The Muharram ceremony is just a pretext for regime’s criminal and evil aims. But continuing down this path will pit the regime against a new wave of anger and protests by a population that is well aware that the disastrous scale of Iran’s coronavirus crisis is due to the regime’s coverup and destructive policies, as its own officials are acknowledging.
It is clear that following health instructions to prevent the coronavirus outbreak, as some members of the Coronavirus Task Force have emphasized, is impossible and the regime wasn’t even able to follow these instructions during the PhD Entrance Exam.
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, speaker of the Majlis (parliament), revealed that during the PhD Entrance Exam, 10 percent of the participants and 15 percent of the candidates in the bachelor's entrance exam did not participate for fear of contracting Covid-19. “The government has now allocated the budget for implementing protocols,” Ghalibaf said.
Coronavirs is not incurable
Contrary to Rouhani’s remarks that coronavirus is a worldwide phenomenon and has no solution, Harirchi deputy minister of Health and Medical Education acknowledged: “In more than 100 countries in the world the Covid-19 death toll has reached zero or single-digit numbers.” Harirchi added that the real number of coronavirus victims in Iran is double what the Health Ministry announces.
Therefore, despite warnings about the disastrous consequences of holding Muharram ceremonies, the regime is determined to hold the ceremonies under the pretext of following protocols. This is both to follow up its inhuman policy of inflicting casualties and under the pressure of many mullahs and regime followers who stand to profit from such ceremonies. But at the same time, the regime fears the social consequences of this criminal decision.
Hesitation and fear are clearly visible in Rouhani’s contractionary remarks about how to hold the Muharram ceremony.
Muharram is just an excuse; the aim is to maintain the regime in power and prevent nationwide uprisings. As Khamenei previously alluded, the regime seeks to use the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity and a tool to maintain its regime in power but is doomed to fail.