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Iran’s regime engages in propaganda to save face

Tehran's latest satellite launch is a cover for its ballistic missile program
Tehran's latest satellite launch is a cover for its ballistic missile program

Analysis by PMOI/MEK   

Iran, April 25, 2020—On Thursday, April 23, Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani launched four projects in Fars province, south-central Iran, through video conference. He called these initiatives as national and structure projects that include an aluminum manufacturing site, a hospital, a sports stadium, and an airport in the city of Lamerd.

The question is how can a hospital, a sports stadium and an airport be described as national and infrastructure projects? The regime desperately needs to show that the status quo is normalized. In the current circumstances, regime experts and official stats indicate that the escalating number of coronavirus cases and deaths have left the ruling mullahs utterly vulnerable like never before. Many officials warn repeatedly during Majlis (parliament) sessions, in state-run newspapers and media outlets about the Iranian society’s powder keg situation due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Launching a brouhaha and propaganda over ordinary projects in a small city is part of the regime’s broader publicity campaign. Simultaneously, the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC)launching a satellite was described by IRGC chief Hossein Salami as “the beginning of the formation of a global power” and state media dubbed the event as the “IRGC reaching space”, “The State’s view of the world from space” and “Military presence in space.”

Virus Detection Device, another manifestation of the regime’s needs

With the COVDI-19 crisis intensifying and placing the country on the brink of a national catastrophe, the regime needs such propaganda campaigns to mislead the public, boost the morale of its forces and show itself as a powerful and dominant entity.

One such example was Salami announcing the “invention” of a device able to “detect coronavirus within a radius of about 100 meters in five seconds!” It was so ridiculous that even regime’s Health Ministry immediately issued a statement saying, “The device had yet to be approved.” Even Rouhani's advisor has blasted the regime’s state TV for "advertising" the device.

The IRGC officials had previously presented the same device as a fuel tracker able to detect vehicles carrying smuggled fuel. The device was sold at a skyrocketing price to the Iraqi government by a British individual who is now serving time behind bars.

Heavy political, social price of propaganda campaigns

The comic Virus Detection Device story, as well as other propaganda campaigns such as launching satellites into orbit or launching so-called infrastructure and national projects clearly indicate the regime’s extremely critical and fragile conditions.

The mullahs are facing international condemnations after launching a satellite into orbit. Following a strong condemnation by the Unites States, three of its major European allies, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, have also criticized Iran’s launch of a military satellite into orbit as a clear a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. Washington is now behind an effort to have this issue discussed in the UN Security Council.

The U.S. State Department spokesperson said in a tweet on April 23:

“First, IRGC Commander Hajizadeh's forces killed 176 innocent civilians in the missile shootdown of PS752. Now, Hajizadeh is wasting Iran's resources on a military space program. Why doesn't Iran use these funds for its people? Its sanctions relief campaign is a scam.”

The international community believes that the satellite program is a cover for the regime’s ballistic missile development project and a clear breach of its commitments.

Without a doubt the regime knew about the consequences of launching a satellite into orbit and has undone all its efforts in the anti-sanctions campaign through its lobbyists and apologists.

Low profit, heavy price

When it comes to addressing the Iranian people’s needs, paying workers' salaries and allocating medicine for COVID-19 patients, the regime claims to have no resources. However, in order to fund billions of dollars for its missile and satellite programs, parallel to funding its proxies such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) militia and fueling Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, the regime is very generous.

The mullahs are well aware of the social, political and international consequences of their actions. However, they attempt to portray a dominant image by claiming to have overcome the coronavirus crisis and that the situation is normalized, all to boost the morale of its forces.

There is a miscalculation on the regime’s part in this regard. The low and unstable profit of this measure is nowhere equal to the resulting heavy political and social costs.

The mullah’s regime in Iran has not paid any attention to the needs of the people during the coronavirus pandemic and instead has intensified its suppression by executing prisoners. Conditions in Iran are dramatic and far more serious than any other country across the globe. The real virus confronting the Iranian people is the totalitarian regime in Iran.