Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, March 15, 2020—The coronavirus outbreak has claimed the lives of 4,500 people across Iran as the virus continues to spread to more cities. After weeks of denial and secrecy, Iranian officials acknowledge that the situation has spun out of control.
(Update: The coronavirus death toll in Iran has surpassed 4,900 victims.)
“We are facing a strange and difficult coronavirus crisis. We should put aside our political difference. On the other hand, we are facing sanctions and low oil prices,” Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam, a member of the regime’s Expediency Council, an advisory board to Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Seyed Hashem Bathaie Golpaygani, a member of the regime’s Assembly of Experts, has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The regime is also preparing to counter potential protests as the public outrage over the regime’s mishandling of the situation continues to rise.
UPDATE 9:30 PM CET
Over 4,900 in 182 cities throughout all of Iran’s 31 provinces have died of coronavirus, according to the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) citing reports from its sources as of noon local time on Sunday, March 15.
The death rate includes: 696 in Tehran, 657 in Gilan, 424 in Mazandaran, 343 in Golestan, 170 in Khuzestan, 44 in Hamedan and 42 in Ardabil provinces. Reports indicate 210 people have died in the city of Kashan alone.
More than 4,900 people across 182 cities in Iran are dead of coronavirus, per Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK.— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) March 15, 2020
-Hundreds dead in the city of Babol alone
-Mashhad mayor: "We lost a golden opportunity."
-Regime officials concerned of protests#Iran#COVIDー19https://t.co/3g5rPL8Flc
Reports from hospitals in the city of Babol, northern Iran, indicate hundreds of people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in this city alone while there has yet to be an exact figure assessed as of yet.
In Ilam, western Iran, the number of coronavirus deaths in Mostafa Khomeini Hospital has skyrocketed that neither the hospital morgue has the necessary capacity, nor do authorities have the means to quickly bury the dead bodies. The number of people killed continues to be investigated and will be presented on Monday, March 16. At least 20 people have lost their lives in the town of Ivan-e Gharb and the corpses are being placed in refrigerating facilities that usually store fruits and vegetables. Another report from the village of Choors in West Azerbaijan Province, northwest Iran, that has a very low population, indicates that one family alone has lost four of its loved ones.
Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani claimed on Sunday that 97 percent of the Iranians queried do not have coronavirus symptoms. Rouhani is acknowledging that three percent of the Iranian people, meaning around 2.5 million, are suspicious of or infected with COVID-19. All the while, the regime’s Health Ministry said on Sunday that the number of coronavirus cases have reached 13,938. This is further proof that the regime is completely lying.
“The objective of various officials in remarks about a bio-terrorism attack is to refer all the problems resulting from the COVID-19 management crisis to foreign enemies… However, it is more likely that an enemy by the name of mismanagement is far more probable than a biologic attack by our enemies,” said Amir Khojasteh, deputy chair of a committee in the regime’s Malis (parliament).
“We wasted a lot of time… there was no strategic plan to use the experience of other countries and maybe some measures were carried out with drastic delays… Currently we are witnessing an exponential growth in the number of coronavirus cases in Tehran, and Tehran Province has far more cases in comparison to other provinces… and our medical staff could be completely exhausted in the future,” said Alireza Zali, a senior official in Tehran’s anti-coronavirus headquarters.
“We must admit that we lost a golden opportunity and must compensate… the number of coronavirus cases is rising exponentially… the virus is has become a pandemic… the medical staff in Mashhad is exhausted… the word pandemic is horrific. This situation may escalate and get out of our control,” said the mayor of Mashhad, the country’s second largest city located in northeast Iran.
There is also escalating concern among regime officials over protests erupting in Iran.
“Beyond foreign threats, domestic issues such as protests revolutions, coup de ’tat, famine and epidemics can disrupt a country’s security and stability, and even lead to a complete crumble… the coronavirus crisis in Iran linking to previous developments, including the November 2019 incidents, will lead to further protests,” an analysis in the state-run Mizan daily reads. The country’s military and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) can “take over the country’s security and impose necessary restrictions to decrease the amount of concern over the spread of a virus…” This further indicates the regime’s main concern of security threats disrupting the stability of its already fragile apparatus.
2:00 PM CET
Physicians and medical staff are still faced with lack of access to medical gear as the regime continues to prioritize its own forces and officials when it comes to care. “Medical facilities are very scarce,” the president of Mashhad’s Medical University said.
A citizen reporting from Isfahan said, “[The regime] intentionally spread the coronavirus so that the people forget its crimes during the November protests as well as the parliamentary elections. They want to divert attention from their mess and crimes. They want to establish a martial law under the pretext of the coronavirus outbreak because they are afraid of possible protests during the Charshanbe Souri festivities.”
Another citizen reporting about the burial of coronavirus victims in Gonbad said, “Such measures are unprecedented that they bring vehicles inside the cemetery. And then they claim that there have been no coronavirus cases in Gonbad. This is clear evidence to the contrary. They haven’t even taken the precautionary measures to prevent the infection from spreading from the body. Close to this location is the playing ground of kids and a little farther is a hospital.”
The regime’s state TV, concerned about the revelations made by the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), has begun to sound desperate. “Creating general dissent among our compatriots, tainting the image of our officials and their actions are being mainly carried out by dissidents and opposition currents abroad. Their remarks are extensively published and shared on social media,” the report said.
Majid Farahani, a member of Tehran’s City Council, forecast dangerous circumstances in the future. “The next COVID-19 is in the outskirts regions of our cities. In the dumps, among several tons of trash, there are children who are searching these places to find anything that may help their families make ends meet,” he said. “In the middle of all this about coronavirus, again there is no one willing to go to such areas…” It is worth noting that 19 million people living in city slums, according to remarks made by the regime’s deputy Health Ministry back in the summer of 2018.