Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, March 7, 2020—While all country are administering caution in their relations with China due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Iranian regime still continues flights to China. This is even Iran’s own coronavirus outbreak which has already claimed more than 1,800 lives, according to the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK),
“Studying information of flights of Mahan Airways shows that it continues flights to at least to one Chinese city. According to announcement of official website of Shanghai Airport, Mahan Air flights continue to this city and on Thursday March 5, a flight with the number W-577 on 09:55 is planned to enter the Terminal 2 of Shanghai airport. The situation of this flight is announced ‘as planned’,” reported the state-run ISNA on March 5.
The spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Organization Reza Jafarzadeh said in an interview with ISNA: “This flight is absolutely not passenger flight and it is a cargo flight and without a doubt Mahan Airways cannot operate without any permission.”
On March 4, the Iranian regime’s ambassador to China Mohammad Keshavarz-zadeh the entrance of a Mahan Air flight to Tehran from Beijing.
These flights have caused criticism even among regime officials. Mehrdad Baooj Lahouti, a member of regime’s parliament, said: “If the Ministry of Health has the power to shut down the legislative branch, it also has the power to order the cancellation of flights to China. The Health Ministry and the entire system has not taken the coronavirus seriously.”
The state-run Etedal newspaper reported on March 5, “Reportedly Mahan Air flights continue to China for the reason of China’s support of Islamic Republic at the time of the ‘sanctions’ and in this situation, Mahan Air continues to benefit.”
Earlier, Bahram Parsai, another MP , said: “Profitability of a domestic Airline and wrong policies of the Civil Aviation Organization and also not taking serious the warnings of the World Health Organization (WHO) is the cause of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran. There were no reports of this virus in neighboring countries and this means that it entered the country through flights and it is unclear when the virus came to Iran.”
Coronavirus has spread to almost all of Iran’s provinces. While Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani previously claimed life will return to normal by the end of February, he was forced to acknowledge the fact that coronavirus has gone out of control. “This disease has spread widely to almost all of our provinces,” he said in Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.
The regime has even canceled Friday prayers in all provincial capitals this week because of the coronavirus outbreak, which is unprecedented since the 1979 revolution.
According to Reuters on March 5, a video aired on state television of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting showed Rouhani and ministers in a larger room than the usual venue for the weekly gathering. The measure was meant to prevent the members of the cabinet from potentially catching the virus from each other.
Mahan Air’s continued flights to China is just another example of how the regime prioritizes its own interests and benefits over the health and well-being of the Iranian population. Another example, which has cause much outrage in the past days, is the IRGC’s hoarding of health masks and hygiene products to sell them at stellar prices and benefit at a time when the Iranian people need all the help they can get.