Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, April 4, 2020—Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani continued his pathological lying about the coronavirus on Thursday, claiming, “We will not be having problems in the next few months. We will not have a problem in providing currency until the end of the [Persian calendar] year (March 2021) … Today, there are around 4 million tons of goods in our customs, including basic goods, which will enter the country in the coming days.”
He also claimed that the country’s warehouses are filled with agricultural and industrial products. But the question is, where will the government get the money from as its oil and petrochemical income is nearing zero? This question is even more relevant as the coronavirus crisis has shut down many economical activities and even gasoline consumption inside the country has declined by 48 billion liters.
It is also unclear how Rouhani imagines improving domestic growth while the country is faced with inflation, the shutdown of many daily activities, floods in 19 provinces, earthquakes, and the coronavirus outbreak? Previously Rouhani claimed that everything will change by April 8 and the situation will return to normal. But he admitted on Thursday, “We will not be having problems in the next few months. We will not have a problem in providing currency until the end of the [Persian calendar] year (March 2021) … Today, there are around 4 million tons of goods in our customs, including basic goods, which will enter the country in the coming days.”
Officials bicker and reveal the facts about the coronavirus crisis
Both rivaling factions in the regime are worried about the consequences of these series of lies. On April 2, Ahmad Tavakoli, a member of the Expediency Council, wrote an article titled “Mr. President, a bit more thoughtful!” on Ilaf website and warned Rouhani that the Ministry of Health’s statistics does not show a decline in the coronavirus death toll.
“In recent weeks a strange upward trend has been reported,” Tavakoli wrote and added, “We witnessed on March 26 a jump in the number of cases.”
He also questioned Rouhani’s claims about not quarantining cities and empty hospital beds and said, “Rouhani is still in election mood and it seems he has underestimated this disease while such remarks can have opposite results and bad consequences in the people’s trust.”
Even Saeed Namaki, Rouhani health minister, opposed the regime president at the meeting of the Coronavirus Task Force said, “The coronavirus outbreak is rising in eight provinces and its cases are intolerable. By a little neglect, the terrible peak will affect us all and we are really under pressure”.
“I really beg that we do not ignore the situation because we are still in the period of managing the disease, not controlling it,” Namaki added.
Fear of an inevitable social explosion
“Coronavirus has challenged the ruling efficiency in Iran. The government is not able to make any decisions because any decisions depend on people’s trust in the system which is at its lowest level,” said Abbas Abdi a regime analyst with ties to the so-called reformist faction.
Another regime expert, Taghi Azad Armaki, said, “the political system in Iran has collapsed and is not able to exercise its power.”
In the meantime, supreme leader Ali Khamenei has escaped Tehran and has isolated himself in a safe place, likely to escape the consequences of the disaster he has helped create. He didn’t even answer Rouhani’s letters in which he demanded to release part of the Currency Reserve Fund for the coronavirus crisis. Khamenei has not spent even a dollar of his $200 billion wealth on managing the crisis.
The situation has become so critical that some regime MPs are suggesting to allocated parts of the vast resources of Astan-e Quds Foundation, a huge economic powerhouse overseen by Khamenei, to save the country. According to the state-run Borna news agency, a member of the Bazar, Currency, and Capital Committee in Tehran’s Chamber of Commerce suggested to “impose taxes on institutions such as the Astan-e Quds, the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, and Bonyad-e Mostazafan” as the best solution to compensate for the losses of the government and cover the losses caused by coronavirus.
Other regime officials are warning about the consequences of the government’s continued mismanagement of the situation. During the Coronavirus Task Force meeting, Hossein Ashtari, the head of the state security forces, revealed his fear of social protests and said, “Contract workers must leave their homes to make ends meet… they are from the weak segments of the society… they’ve been told to stay in their homes, but it’s been a month or two that they have no income. If the situation remains, we might be facing other damages and post-coronavirus incidents.”
“The country is at the point of a pervasive crisis and many experts believe the right or wrong answer to the coronavirus crisis can change Iran’s history,” wrote the Fararou website.