Coronavirus Pandemic and Iran’s Society Are Both out of the Regime’s Control
Mohammad Sadat Khansari
Coronavirus outbreak and Iran’s society are both out of the regime’s control- Tehran, a scene of a protest in November 2019
The rising COVID-19 death toll in Iran and the restive Iranian society has forced state-run media and officials to admit that both the coronavirus crisis and the society are out of the regime’s control.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) announced that as of Tuesday, the COVID-19 virus has taken the lives of over 44,500 people across Iran. Despite the ridiculous and bogus claims of the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani that over “over 20 percent of hospital beds are empty” and the regime’s criminal decision to force people back to work amid the coronavirus outbreak, information from Iran, even those published by the state-run news agencies, show the regime has no control over this crisis and is not willing to handle it.
Mohammad Shanbodi, the health director of Mahshahr port in Khuzestan province, on Tuesday, told the state-run ILNA news agency: “The Coronavirus outbreak in Khuzestan has taken an upward trend … In the last few days, Mahshahr hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients. Again, Naft Hospital allocated another ward to Coronavirus patients. Hospital beds are not enough, and there is no room for more patients. Unfortunately, many of the medical staff have contracted the virus, which forced them to enter quarantine. I emphasize that we have no substitute for them.”
The state-run Mehr news agency quoted Javad Aghazade, head of the West Azerbaijan University of Medical Sciences, as saying: “We have witnessed a rising number of infections and people being hospitalized within the last five day. In the city of Mahabad, we have had six deaths. Currently, Mahabad and nine other cities in Western Azerbaijan are in a red situation.”
Iranian society has been grappling with poverty. It is under tremendous economic pressure due to the regime’s institutionalized corruption and wrong economic and political decisions. Now the coronavirus outbreak and the regime’s mismanagement have added to the people’s misery and of course, have increased their anger toward the regime. The mullahs’ regime considers the COVID-19 crisis, like other crises, to be a security threat and prioritizes its own rule over people’s lives. The decision to send people back to work confirms this. The regime refused, unlike other countries, to financially support people during the quarantining period, and this resulted in more people joining the army of starving people. Fearing a nationwide protest such as the Iran protests in November, which shook the regime’s foundation, the regime forced people back to work. Yet, since they are in a deadlock, the mullahs chose this path to prolong their rule even for days, despite knowing that this would increase social hatred toward the regime with more people dying due to the coronavirus.
In this regard, the state-run Mostaghel daily wrote on Tuesday: “The bloody November of 2019… caused a huge part of the society to refrain from voting in the [parliamentary] elections… The 60 percent of the population who did not vote have no interest in the upcoming [presidential] elections and are unsatisfied about the status quo. The greatest and most real opponents are the poor and the unemployed.”
Ahmad Naderi, a regime official, told the state-run Resalat daily on March 7: “I am worried about the social and security outcome of this crisis. Soon, rebellions, much larger than the ones in 2018 and 2019 and certainly much larger than the ones in the 1990s, will happen.”
On April 7, Iran-Emrouz state-run daily wrote: “We are going to have a major social upheaval after the Coronavirus is over. The situation is not going to be calm. It is going to be exactly like the period after the 2017 elections (uprisings), and we are going to see repeated and powerful incidents.”
As the Resalat daily wrote on Tuesday, May 26: “Only one excuse is needed, then like a match flame that falls into a haystack, everything [of the regime] will be burnt.”