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Iran: The implications of sending people back to work amidst the coronavirus outbreak

Iran's regime is sending people to work while coronavirus still rages across the country
Iran's regime is sending people to work while coronavirus still rages across the country

Reporting by PMOI/MEK   

Iran, April 19, 2020—Saturday marked the official end of quarantines in Iran and the beginning of the reopening of offices and businesses and the implementation of the so-called Smart Distance Plan in Tehran. But in reality, Tehran had already entered this stage last Saturday, as was the case in other provinces. Simultaneous with the official launch of this plan in Tehran, Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani claimed the success of the project during the meeting with heads of Coronavirus Task Force committee and said: “Executing Smart Distance Plan has reduced the spread of the disease in some provinces and created a steady trend in other provinces.”

This is a clearly despicable lie because the statements and remarks of other regime officials show the exact opposite.

The Chairman of the General Assembly of the Medical Organization described the Smart Distance Plan as “doomed to fail.”

The telltale signs of heavy traffic

But more clearly, the situation of traffic in Tehran illustrates a better picture. The state-run television reported heavy traffic on the highways and streets of Tehran and the traffic police chief of Tehran said that the traffic of Tehran has increased by 75 percent or even doubled in comparison to the previous year.

But more dangerously are the crowds on subways and on buses. The daily Resalat reminded on April 18 that according to government estimates, public transportation is the number one factor of spreading the virus and accounts for 25-30 percent of transmission among other factors. The newspaper wrote: “Probably 350,000 people are in danger because of using the subway and sooner or later, the consequences of it will be reflected in the number of victims and casualties caused by the virus."

The Parliamentary Research Center mentioned in a report that with a 40-percent quarantine policy, about 811,000 people in the country will contract COVID-19 and 6,030 people will lose their lives. The research center added that anything under 70-percent isolation is unlikely to yield positive results for the physical distancing in any amount of time.

The explosive situation of Iran

Without a doubt, Rouhani and regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei are aware of these facts. The cancellation of the quarantine was with full knowledge and awareness about the macro losses of human lives. As the regime’s own state-run media has acknowledged, Khamenei and Rouhani have chosen the security of their regime above lives of the people. They try to maintain their regime and find it more necessary. Khamenei very clearly said that production must resume, “whatever the price.”

As Khamenei earlier mentioned, he tries to turn the coronavirus threat into an opportunity. What he means is to use the crisis as a tool against the collapse of his regime at the price of many human lives.

But this can and will have opposite consequences for the regime and even state-run media is warning about it. The daily Mostaghel wrote on April 18: “The critical economic situation in the country and the coronavirus outbreak will exacerbate the situation and this can lead to riots and violent protests.”

This is the truth. The Iranian society is suffering from injustice, poverty, discrimination, oppression and repression and needs just a small spark to explode. We’ve seen this play out several times in the past years. The coronavirus crisis will take many human lives. The ruling mullahs believe coronavirus will cause the people to lose heart for protest, but this is a strategic miscalculation. The Iranian people have an organized resistance movement and alternative that is active both inside the country and across the world. This movement, which is marked by the sacrifices made by tens of thousands of people over the decades, is poised to prevent the regime from making the coronavirus outbreak another excuse to continue its rule.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said in her Nowruz remarks: “Be strong and proud, and rise up a hundred times more determined and spirited and challenge the ruling monsters who embody repression, poverty and illness. The mullahs sow the seeds of hopelessness and passivity. We must rebel against it. Iran and Iranians will never give in; they will never surrender, be defeated or forced into submission. We will resist and fight the virus and the ruling theocracy. This is our raison d’être. Victory is ours; tomorrow is ours.”