Presidential frontrunners: the future of Iran’s political identity

Authors: Dr Firouz Daneshgari and Dr Sina Dashti *

More than 300,000 lives have been lost in Iran due to the coronavirus. The staggering death toll places Iran with the highest per capita death rate in the world – by far. This results from the theocracy’s war against the Iranian people, its astronomical corruption and its mind-boggling mismanagement of the crisis. The Iranian people are not only fighting against the coronavirus but also against the Velayat virus (clerical rule).

The health ministry currently puts the official death toll at around 80,000. But Iranian authorities are notoriously deceptive and dishonest. Doctors and practitioners across the country say the numbers are much higher. The main opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has been maintaining a reliable casualty tally on a daily basis since March 2020. He said this week that the actual number exceeded 300,000.

The opposition tally is based on detailed records and reliable data from mortuaries, cemeteries, hospitals, medical centers, internal reports, state media, leaked state documents and testimonies first hand from healthcare professionals in 543 cities.

As such, Iran has the highest death rate in the world: in the United States, the death toll from COVID-19 has been around 1/660 of the total population, the death toll in Iran is 1/226, almost 300% that of the United States.

Why does Iran have the highest death toll per capita?

The regime has embarked on a cover-up of the initial epidemic. Leaked documents indicate that the National Emergency Organization had recorded probable cases of coronavirus infections as early as December 2019. The regime, however, covered them up to minimize fears of the participation of its forces in the anniversary of the revolution of the February 11 and February 21. 2020 legislative elections.

In the carefully curated parliamentary vote in February 2020, state employees were forced to attend the polls, while others were given free transportation and a host of monetary incentives to maximize the number of crowds. in the voting booths before the propagandists on state television.

The fabricated image of public support was particularly important to the regime after the November 2019 uprisings in nearly 200 cities, in which the population called for democratic regime change. State repressive forces murdered at least 1,500 protesters during the uprising.

At the same time, the regime staged a mass funeral for its eliminated terrorist mastermind, Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq in January 2020.

All of these propaganda events have become super-diffusers. And despite repeated warnings, Mahan airline, which is part of the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), continued its flights to China until March.

At the same time, the regime has deliberately embarked on a slow and lukewarm response to the epidemic. In February 2020, Mullahs’ President Hassan Rouhani, described by some in the West as “moderate,” accused the United States of spreading “fear” of the virus, and insisted his government was on top of the situation.

Months later, authorities warn of a “fourth wave” of infections. The director of Arak Medical Services University described the situation as a “tsunami”, as “may never be seen in history”. As of May 19, a hospital in Khuzestan said it had 95% of its intensive care beds dedicated to COVID-19 cases, in addition to 90% of its regular beds. This situation is common in other cities.

The regime’s despised Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has banned the import of vaccines from the US or UK, leaving people at the mercy of the virus. According to the latest data from Reuters, only 1.9% of the population has received a dose of the vaccine. At this rate, it will take at least 4 years to deliver enough doses to the general population.

Why would Khamenei ban vaccines while importing technology from the West that his regime needs? Because he deliberately wants to slow down the recovery process. Fearing growing public discontent with the regime, he wants to use the coronavirus as a barrier against public protests like those in November 2019.

In March, before the Iranian New Year, Ms. Maryam Rajavi, NCRI president-elect, highlighted recent unrest and protests from defrauded teachers, retirees and investors, calling it proof that “the fire of uprisings is rising from the ashes of the coronavirus”.

For four decades, the regime’s sole concern has been to suppress the Iranian people, to spread terrorism and extremism in the region, and to proliferate weapons of mass destruction. He has invested billions of dollars in these projects at the expense of basic needs and the well-being of the population, such as medical facilities and hospitals.

The Iranian people know full well that their misery has nothing to do with international sanctions. Medicine has never been sanctioned. The regime can import vaccines, special clothing, masks, test kits and hygiene supplies. But Khamenei has chosen to amass at least a trillion dollars in his corrupt institutions, depriving the population of the funding needed to fight the virus.

The coronavirus is activated by the clerical dictatorship in Iran. But the Iranian people will overcome both viruses. The international community must provide moral support.

* Dr. Dashti is an infection and family medicine specialist, practicing in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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