Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, March 16, 2020—Political infighting among the mullahs ruling Iran is escalating parallel to the coronavirus epidemic in Iran. Both these phenomena are very dangerous for the regime’s future.
UPDATE 10:00 PM CET
As of Monday afternoon, March 16, over 5,500 people have died of the coronavirus in 186 cities across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The number of victims in the city of Babol, in northern Iran, has reached over 250 while Ilam Province has a death toll of over 120 people. The COVID-19 spread in Tabriz is very concerning and the number of people losing their lives in East Azerbaijan Province has reached at least 150 people. The number of people dying in Tehran Province has reached 750, 681 in Gilan Province, 457 in Khorasan Razavi Province, and 80 in Yazd Province. This is in addition to other provinces.
The situation in Mazandaran Province, northern Iran, continues to be reported as very dire and at least 70 people have died in the past 24 hours alone. In the city of Sari alone 770 people have been hospitalized in the last 48 hours. The number of physicians, nurses and medical staff members losing their lives is increasing with each passing day. The Fars news agency, affiliated to the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), said four members of the Babol Medical Sciences University have lost their lives.
More than 5,500 people across 186 cities in Iran are dead of coronavirus, per Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK.— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) March 16, 2020
-Mazandaran: above 70 dead in past 24 hours
-Sari: 770 hospitalized in past 48 hours
-Kashan: Severe shortage of hospital beds#Iran#COVIDー19https://t.co/MDR4jf1KTs
The city of Kashan is facing severe shortages and there is no more room for those who need to be hospitalized. The shortage of masks, gloves, gowns and necessary medicine is very serious. Eyewitness reports from Friday, March 13, indicate that 40 people lost their lives in this city and there is no more room in the city morgues. The mullahs’ regime continues its refusal to close down factories and other companies in Kashan, leading to the further spread of COVID-19. An official of the Kashan Medical Sciences University said 65 physicians and medical staff members are infected with the virus and 180 people have died across this city.
While the regime continues to provide complete false numbers and the death toll and COVID-19 cases are rising constantly, Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani despicably said, “The country has surpassed the infection peak period.” Two weeks ago, he had said everything would be back to normal by Saturday, February 29.
The religious fascism is unwilling to impose quarantine measures to not pay the price of his necessity. “We have no quarantine measures… everyone is free to go on with their work and activities,” Rouhani said on Sunday.
“Quarantine measures in Tehran is an utter lie. There is no change in the working hours of stores, bakeries and other businesses,” said Ali Rabie, spokesperson of the regime’s cabinet.
“Post-quarantine plans such as providing people’s needs and compensating the damages are not possible. That is why we cannot impose full quarantine measures,” according to the regime’s mayor in Tehran. However, it is common knowledge that these expenses can easily be provided for from the hundreds of billions of dollars of the Iranian people’s money, that has been allocated to the IRGC, the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and other institutions such as the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, Mostazafan Foundation, the Shahid Foundation, and Astan-e Quds Razavi.
On the other hand, officials are escalating their measures to confront possible protests on Tuesday, March 17, as Iranians mark the Tuesday night of the Iranian calendar before Nowruz (Iranian calendar new year) on March 21.
“The 16th Armored Division of Qazvin, along with the 116th, the 216th and the 316th Brigade have been dispatched to Gilan Province in the effort against coronavirus… The dispatched forces will have a permanent presence in Gilan Province until the end of their missions. The planned dispatching has been for a two-month period,” according to the regime’s official ILNA news agency.
A senior police official has warned that these units will take measures against any gathering during these festivities. 1,800 vehicles, motorcycles, and on-foot patrols will be deployed in Tehran during this period, the official added.
3:00 PM CET
“When we don’t provide support packages to the public, how do we expect to gain the people’s trust? Unfortunately, it remains unclear if people will be forced to pay for their water and electricity bills,” a piece in the state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily reads.
“The public being left in limbo status, the high number of decision-making bodies, shutting down the Majlis (parliament), and the inactive nature of our executive branch have all led to further tensions in our current circumstances… We must acknowledge the fact that the government tuning different tones will not resolve anything for the public… The government’s lack of will, adequate motivation and a specific plan are more reasons why the military is now involved in the coronavirus crisis management apparatus… It appears the winter sleep of [Iranian regime President Hassan] Rouhani and his colleagues has continued for far too long and he has no ability to resolve any issues,” the piece adds.
Reports from state media in Iran indicate that Hashem Bathaie Golpayegani, a member of the regime’s Assembly of Experts, has died of COVID-19.
Hadi Ghaffari, a known mullah and regime insider, and his wife are infected with coronavirus and hospitalized, according to the state-run Setareyeh Sobh daily.
In more reports about ongoing political feuds in Iran this piece adds, “When provincial governors seek to impose quarantine measures, the president prevents them from doing so, saying such measures should be announced by the central government. The relevant department and committee hold a meeting with the president on one day, the health minister on another day, then the armed forces chief of staff on yet another day. There is still no specific central body focused on this issue and it is quite natural that the number of coronavirus deaths and cases continue to increase in Iran.”
Other reports from inside Iran indicate authorities dispatching large units of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and paramilitary Basij members into the streets of Karaj, west of Tehran, with water-cannon trucks and motorcycles under the pretext of efforts to fight coronavirus. Two IRGC or Basij members were seen stationed every 200 meters. Regime officials are taking advantage of the status quo to keep full control over the society and prevent any possible protests beforehand.