Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, March 2, 2020—Soon after the news broke of the coronavirus outbreak in China, airlines from various countries stopped their flights to the East Asian country.
While all country were administering caution in their relations with China, Iran’s Mahan Airways, run by the terrorist-designated Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), continued its flights to China without paying attention to the Iranian people’s health and life. This was even reflected in regime’s state-run media.
On February 5, 2020, Hamshahri Online wrote in this regard: “Reports shared on social media show that the Mahan Airways is still flying to China.”
Under pressure of public opinion, Mahan Airways acknowledged on its Instagram page that it had nine flights to the destination of China.
The IRNA news agency wrote on February 9, 2020: “Mahan Airways has confirmed four cargo flights to Shanghah and Beijing and also five passenger flights after China flights was ordered to stop. Now it has informed that this company has no scheduled flight to China, and possible flights to China are based on a civil aviation license.”
Previously, Bahram Parsai, a member of the Parliament, had informed the ISNA state-run news agency about these flights, which is a result of internal conflict of power between the regime’s different factions.
Parsai stressed that the reason for the spread of the coronavirus are the flights of this airlines. “After the outbreak of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization had announced urgent situation for the whole world, and we were witnessing the management of the issue around the world. But unfortunately, by any inexcusable reason, the flights of an Iranian airline to China continued and even the passengers of other countries were displaced with this Iranian airline. The warnings were not taken seriously and the negligence is very clear,” Parsai said.
“The profit-seeking of an internal airline or wrong policies of the Aviation Organization and also not taking seriously the World Health Organization warnings was the cause of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran. Considering that no cases was reported from neighboring countries, we can conclude that the virus entered the country through external flights,” reported ISNA news agency February 7, 2020.
A video published on social media clearly shows that the IRGC’s Mahan Air not only continued flights to and from China, but it also for the sake of its profits and benefits, it transported Chinese travelers that other airlines were not willing to board, bringing them from Istanbul Airport to Tehran, and from Tehran to China.
Reza Jafarzadeh, the spokesperson of the Iranian regime’s Aviation Organization, officially said in a TV interview on February 11, 2020 that flights to China and East Asia continues.
Mohammad Hossein Ghorbani, Vice President of the parliament’s Health and Treatment Commission, acknowledged that the airlines have been warned but they said they’re private companies and did not stop the flights because they didn't want to bear financial losses.
Previously, the Chinese ambassador to Tehran said in a tweet on February 23, 2020: “In a meeting with Arabnejad the Director General of Mahan Airlines, he said they are willing to continue cooperation with China.
Mahan’s continued cooperation with China came at a time that this country was struggling with the coronavirus outbreak and many air companies had stopped their flights to this country.
Even though the role of Mahan Airways in spreading the coronavirus in Iran is obvious, Mohammad Eslami, the minister of transportation and metropolitan development of Hassan Rouhani’s government, has denied the link between Iran’s coronavirus outbreak and the flights to China.
“That's not true, and China's flights were halted,” he told the state-run ILNA news agency.
Due to these news and acknowledgements made by members of different regime factions, it is clear that Mahan Airways—and by extension the IRGC and Khamenei—is the main cause of transfer of coronavirus from China to Iran. The criminal regime’s officials are the main culprits of this national crisis. The only reason, as regime officials admitted, are economic benefits.
Therefore, the IRGC has once again proved their cheap financial interests are more important than the wellbeing of the Iranian people. The truth is that the real enemy of the Iranian people is the Supreme Leader and his criminal IRGC.