Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, March 23, 2020—The Iranian regime’s cover-up of the spread of the novel coronavirus has resulted in a human catastrophe in Iran, 21 Nobel Prize laureates warned in a joint letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The regime’s lack of preventive measures and its prioritization of political interests, as well as its suppression of the free flow of information about COVID-19 has resulted in its unprecedented spread in the country.
“As a result of all this, COVID-19 has aggressively spread death and infections across Iran. At the time of writing, at least 6,500 coronavirus-related fatalities have resulted in Iran, according to the reports released by the PMOI-MEK, the Iranian opposition,” the experts warned. The latest report by the MEK, published on Sunday, places the death toll at 9,600 across 210 cities. The Iranian regime’s official figure is 1,600 COVID-19 deaths.
The Nobel laureates also drew attention to the situation of political prisoners, who have been the worst affected by the current situation. “According to reports by prisoners, a number of them have contracted the virus. Yet prison officials do not even allow prisoners to obtain medicine from their own families,” the laureates wrote in their letter.
Given the Iranian regime’s history of prioritizing its own survival and interests over the well-being of the people, the laureates called on the UN Secretary General to take urgent action to prevent “the further expansion of this catastrophe.”
The full text of the letter of Nobel Prize laureates to the UN Secretary General follows:
Joint Letter of Nobel laureates to the United Nations Secretary-General
His Excellency Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017
The spread of the coronavirus has raised significant worry among people all over the world. Transparency, timely communication, and adoption of necessary measures all play a significant role in preventing the further spread of this pandemic (COVID-19).
We, Nobel laureates, wish to guide your attention to an extremely urgent catastrophe currently unfolding in Iran.
There are various reports that indicate that the clerical dictatorship ruling Iran has engaged in a cover-up, preventing the free flow of crucial information about the spread of coronavirus in that country. It covered up the truth in support of its political motives and agenda, including its intention to draw as many people out as possible so they attend its sham parliamentary elections and the anniversary of the 1979 revolution, which included street marches. As a result of the regime's inaction, there has been a serious lack of preventive measures to control and ward off the spread of the novel coronavirus in Iran. For example, according to experts, the initial epicenter of the virus outbreak, the central city of Qom, was not quarantined, due to the regime's parochial political considerations.
As a result of all this, COVID-19 has aggressively spread death and infections across Iran. At the time of writing, at least 6,500 coronavirus-related fatalities have resulted in Iran, according to the reports released by the PMOI-MEK, the Iranian opposition. While expressing our sympathy with the people of Iran, we express our sincere gratitude for the round-the-clock efforts of Iranian doctors, nurses and medical staff. They are providing care to patients despite significant challenges. Sadly, some have lost their lives after contracting the virus themselves while caring for patients.
The situation of prisoners, particularly political prisoners, is dire. According to reports by prisoners, a number of them have contracted the virus. Yet prison officials do not even allow prisoners to obtain medicine from their own families.
According to the Washington Post, the Iranian regime is building coronavirus burial pits so vast they’re visible from space.
Just as was the case with the 1,500 killed in a matter of a few days by the suppressive forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during the November 2019 uprising, the primary party responsible for the growing deaths in Iran as a result of the coronavirus is none other than the clerical regime. On March 3, 2020, Amnesty International reported that 23 minors had been murdered by the regime during the November protests.
We are asking for your urgent intervention in the situation that is unfolding in Iran, as a means of preventing the further expansion of this catastrophe. We request that, with the help of the international community, all of the medical resources and treatment be taken out of IRGC's control and instead be allocated to treatment and prevention efforts that can halt further spread of the coronavirus.
Through your office, we ask the World Health Organization and human rights organizations to visit Iranian prisons and take steps to save the lives and protect the health of prisoners in order to prevent another massacre.
- Professor Michael Rosbash, Nobel Prize, Medicine 2017, USA
- Professor Joachim Frank, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2017, USA
- Professor Oliver Hart, Nobel Prize, Economics 2016, USA
- Professor Paul Modrich, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2015, USA
- Professor Randy Schekman, Nobel Prize, Medicine 2013, USA
- Professor Arieh Warshel, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2013, USA
- Professor David Wineland, Nobel Prize, Physics 2012, USA
- Professor Gerhard Ertl, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2007, Germany
- Professor John Mather, Nobel Prize, Physics 2006, USA
- Professor Roger D. Kornberg, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2006, USA
- Professor John Lewis Hall, Nobel Prize, Physics 2005, USA
- Professor Robert H. Grubbs, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2005, USA
- Professor Finn Kydland, Nobel Prize, Economics 2004, Norway
- Professor Richard Roberts, Nobel Prize, Medicine 1993, USA
- Professor Elias Corey, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1990, USA
- Professor Georg Bednorz, Nobel Prize, Physics, 1987, Germany
- Professor John Polanyi, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1986, Canada
- Professor Jerome Friedman, Nobel Prize, Physics 1986, USA
- Professor Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1986, USA
- Professor Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1981, USA
- Professor Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Prize, Physics, 1979, USA