Iran: Crises Continue to Intensify
More than 300,000 Iranians have died as a direct result of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to reports from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), and outbreaks in the Islamic Republic show no signs of decline.
State media outlets
Even Iranian state media outlets are already acknowledging this last point, and at least one member of the Health Ministry’s coronavirus task team has stated that hospitals are currently overcrowded and may remain so for weeks.
However, the regime’s official narrative still comprises a death toll that is only approximately a fifth of what the (PMOI / MEK Iran) assessed based on hospital data and eyewitness testimony from local media outlets and government institutions.
Earlier in 2020, senior authorities became obsessed with propaganda in the weeks leading up to the regime’s confirmation of the Coronavirus, especially as a means of repairing the damage done to their public image by a series of nationwide upheavals that began in December 2017.
This obsession went beyond simply downplaying the coronavirus potential, and included efforts to stage large-scale public meetings around the time of the regime’s 40th anniversary in early 2020, which state media would portray as popular displays of sympathy with the leadership.
In March 2020, Khamenei asked the private sector to consider the Iranian New Year as a “year of boosting production” and to demand more labor at a time when this would only increase the public health crisis.
The IRGC or Revolutionary Guards, assumed control of distribution for Iran’s catastrophically insufficient supply of vaccines toward the end of that year, just ahead of Iran’s fourth wave, and it was soon found that doses were surfacing on the IRGC-controlled black market with price tags as high as 2,800 US dollars.
These sorts of events highlighted the public’s fundamental inability to overcome both the Coronavirus and the increasing economic crisis in their society. In a March speech, Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the (PMOI / MEK Iran) and its coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, warned that Iran is dealing with “two viruses” in the form of Covid-19 and the theocratic system based on absolute clerical power. Her comments went on to say that in order to treat the Coronavirus, Iran must first abolish the ruling regime.
On 25 April, Iran’s Jahan-e Sanat daily newspaper published an article highlighting the overlap among several crises and the negative effects this could have on political stability. “A large part of society has boycotted elections due to mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, economic woes, pressure on people’s livelihood, and officials’ negligence regarding the social events of January 2018 and November 2019,” the article concluded, referring to nationwide uprisings to which regime authorities responded with gunfire, killing over 1,500 people.
It is secure to say that the persistence of these issues makes it unlikely that a large number of people will vote in next month’s presidential election. Previous unrest was successfully sponsored by the PMOI, and now, “Resistance Units” are currently urging for another electoral boycott, as a means of “voting for regime change” all across Iran.
Tags: coronavirus, coronavirus (COVID-19), coronavirus in Iran, Iran human rights, Iran Opposition, Iran Protests, IRGC, Maryam Rajavi, MEK, Mujahedin-e Khalq, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), People's Mojahedin organization of Iran, PMOI