Iran: Alarming Rise in the Coronavirus Death Toll, Need for Immediate International Action
Coronavirus widespread outbreak in Iran
Written by Shahriar Kia
On Monday, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) announced that as of 8:00 pm local time, over 1000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have lost their lives.
Reports from Canada, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Lebanon, Georgia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia have declared that those diagnosed with the Coronavirus were either Iranians or coming back from Iran. This clearly confirms that the Coronavirus outbreak in Iran is indeed an international crisis, which needs an international action.
Despite the spread of the Coronavirus, the regime has deliberately avoided distributing preventive medical resources and equipment which are essentially in the possession of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and regime officials. Instead, they either dedicate the equipment to themselves or sell them on the black market. The state media have acknowledged that such equipment is sometimes sold at 10 times the actual price.
In addition to its cover-up, the regime either arrests or intimidates those who tell the truth about the dimensions of this deadly crisis. For example, Dr. Abdolreza Fazel, Head of Golestan University of Medical Sciences, said: “We’ve been crying since day one that we have 594 Coronavirus patients, but the Ministry of Health was saying since you have no positive test, we are not giving you the necessary facilities! Then suddenly they announced that we have become the epicenter of the Coronavirus.”
People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)
Head of Golestan’s Medical Sciences University:
“I have been saying since day one that we have 594 coronavirus patients… Yet the Health Ministry would reply no… They kept on telling us to wait. Then one day they said you are a [COVID-19] epicenter…”#CoronaOutbreak
15:23 – 3 Mar 2020
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Another local report by a citizen from Hashtgerd, northern Iran, said: “None of the pharmacies have gloves, masks, rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizing gels. Authorities, especially plainclothes agents, have all the pharmacies and clinics under close supervision. Even the city’s medical center is taking no measures in this regard. All store owners who have closed-circuit cameras have been ordered to inform authorities if anyone is seen taking footages. The state police are going around downloading all the footage of closed-circuit cameras in stores across the city.” Now shocking footages from Iran shows many people in Iran passing out on the streets due to the coronavirus and the regime’s inaction.
Reports from prisons across Iran indicate the spread of the COVID-19 among prisoners. This includes Greater Tehran (Fashafouyeh), Evin, Gohardasht, Ghezel-Hesar, Central Karaj, Urmia, Shiban-Ahvaz and Kashan prisons.
The regime fearing possible public outrage over its inaction, alongside with its ongoing criminal cover-up and downplaying of the Coronavirus outbreak, has mobilized its suppressive forces around the country to suppress possible protests.
An international crisis
The current COVID-19 crisis in Iran is not limited to the Iranian people, and Iran has become the epicenter of the spread of the virus to other countries around the world. In this regard, the New York Times wrote on February 28: “Infections in neighboring countries and even some as far as Canada, Norway and New Zealand have been traced to Iran.” The Associated Press also reported: “All of Bahrain’s cases link back to Iran.”
The Iranian regime is neither capable nor willing to control the Coronavirus outbreak. This virus, if not controlled or contained, will affect other countries and will not be limited to Iranian borders.
Therefore, as Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “The United Nations, World Health Organization, and other international human rights organizations must compel the religious fascism ruling Iran to make public all the facts and figures regarding COVID-19 and provide them to relevant international organizations in order to save the lives of the people of Iran and other countries in the region.”