Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, April 17, 2020—Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani, who is responsible for the cancelation of quarantines and sending people back to work while the spread of COVID-19 has not been contained, seeks to follow two contradictory lines in justifying this criminal and horrific decisions.
First, he claims to have controlled the COVID-19 disease and was more successful than the European countries and the U.S., which are still in lockout. He also says that by relying on the country’s powerful healthcare system, it can both ensure people’s health and drive the wheel of the economy and production.
At the same time, Rouhani has implicitly acknowledged that he was unable to govern the country under quarantine conditions. He said on Thursday April 16, “We are facing two viruses, coronavirus and the sanctions!” He had previously said that there are millions of poor people, and if they don’t go for one day, they will starve, and therefore, there is no other solution than canceling quarantines.
But these two justifications have failed and even rejected by regime officials and media. By publishing fake statistics through the Health Ministry, Rouhani tries to normalize the situation and say that the curve of the coronavirus has flattened, that the death toll and the number of cases has been declining every day. However, many regime officials and experts are stating facts and figures that indicate the situation is still worsening and the curve is still on an upward slope. They also warn that canceling the quarantines and physical distancing rules will further exacerbate the spread of the virus, and the increase of death is terrifying and very black and catastrophic days are ahead.
The regime tried to take advantage of the suffering of the Iranian people from the COVID-19 crisis to put pressure on the U.S. administration and score political points and obtain economic benefits. but this policy is being questioned even by the regime’s own officials. They repeatedly call for the intervention of giant financial institutions such as the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Directive (famously known as Setad), Astan-e Quds and Mostazafan Foundation, each of which has a huge fortune of several billion dollars. Ostensibly, the nature and raison d’être of these institutions, all of which are overseen by regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, is to help the poor in times of crisis. But in reality, they have become tools for the ruling mullahs to increase their own wealth at the expense of the people. And as coronavirus continues to ravage Iran, these institutions have yet to make the slightest move to support the poor and needy.
The Iranian Resistance had announced time and again that Khamenei must allocate $100 billion of the capital and assets of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Basij, Mostazafan, and the money he spends in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Gaza, and Lebanon to the health and treatment of the Iranian people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this capital and money, the regime can provide medicine and medical equipment to the hospitals and the people through WHO and the International Committee of the Red Cross without any restrictions. The question remains that why do Khamenei and Rouhani insist on sending millions of innocent people back to work despite the danger of COVID-19 while the regime’s vast wealth has not been spent on the crisis.
Hundreds of university lecturers, political and social figures said in a letter to regime’s supreme leader that he is the first responsible person of turning the COVID-19 epidemic into a national disaster and asked “should the large capital and facilities of Mr. Khamenei’s economic institutions… which all belong to the Iranian nation, be used only in the Arbaeen march and the extensive expenses of the Supreme Leader’s House, and not in this serious national issue?”
Bahram Parsai, a member of the Majlis (Parliament), said, “The institutions and organizations that have always had certain privileges, have had (tax) exemptions… should come and serve the people for two months.”
The state-run daily Mostaghel wrote on April 7: “The government and the state should take advantage of the financial and economic capacities of large enterprises such as Astan Quds Razavi, Mostazafan Foundation, the Executive Headquarters of the Imam’s Order or other large institutions that do not pay taxes to meet some of the people’s needs at this stage.”
MP Jalal Mirzai also emphasized that the regime’s huge financial institutions must solve the issue.
The editor in chief of the daily Jomhouri Eslami said “big financial powers should come to solve the problem and rescue the people” and “if the Setad, Mostazafan Foundation, and Astan-e Quds Foundation use their vast financial resources to help the segments of the society that have been damaged due to the coronavirus outbreak, their problems will be completely solved in the shortest time.” He added that “these organization’s assets belong to the people and should be spent for them and “if they don’t spend the money they have to save the poor, how do they want to justify their raison d’être?”
These questions and protests became so widespread that one of the regime’s TV presenters questioned the head of the Foundation of the Oppressed and Disabled and its head IRGC commander Fatah that uses the name of the oppressed to accumulated immense wealth.
Interestingly, all of the officials who are now calling for the Khamenei-run institution to tap into their wealth to control the coronavirus situation have been part-and-parcel of the regime for the past decades and are all complicit in the regime’s looting of the Iranian nation’s wealth. But the reason they are now so vocal in their criticism of these financial institutions is that they clearly sense the threat of nationwide protests as the coronavirus health crisis slowly transforms into a social, political and security crisis.
The regime’s leaders are also sensing this threat and are facing a very tough choice, choosing between their ill-gotten wealth and their very existence. These pressures and protests forced these predatory institutions to resort to a series of demonstrative and propaganda actions.
In this regard, Hossein Salami, the leader of the Revolutionary Guards, announced the establishment of a base called Imam Hassan Mojtaba to help and support the 3.5 million families in need. This base is founded in partnership with some of the abovementioned institutions. But so far, no serious measures have been taken and these propaganda campaigns cannot deceive anyone. If the past is prologue, the regime has used such maneuvers to further amass wealth under the pretext of gathering donations for the poor.
It is clear that if Khamenei and the ruling mullahs had the intention to help the people, from the beginning, they would not commit this savage looting what has driven 80 million Iranians under the poverty line.
Reacting to Khamenei and Rouhani’s reluctant moves to extract mere trickles from their vast financial resources, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: the people of Iran are not begging the mullahs for charity. The Iranian people’s wealth, which is stolen by the IRGC, foundations controlled by Khamenei and the Astan-e Quds Razavi endowment, must be wrested out of the mullahs’ control and put in the service of health, treatment, and needs of the people of Iran, especially the deprived and the hungry.