Accessibility links

Breaking News

One Hundred Activists Blame Khamenei For Severity Of Coronavirus Outbreak In Iran

A COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit of a Tehran hospital. March 23, 2020
A COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit of a Tehran hospital. March 23, 2020

In an open letter, 100 Iranian political and civic activists have accused the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of turning the outbreak of Covid-19 into a national disaster across the country.

Furthermore, they have also slammed the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani for aligning himsels with Khamenei in covering up the facts and attributing the novel coronavirus outbreak in Iran to an "enemy plot".

All the signatories of the letter, including former consultant at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Behrouz Bayat, Physical Chemistry expert Mehran Mostafavi, and Radio Zamaneh's former Managing-Director Mehdi Jami are based outside Iran.

The activists argue that Islamic Republic leaders covered up the outbreak of the deadly virus, lest it discouraged people from participating in the celebration of the Islamic Revolution in February followed by national elections, adding, "Thus, a golden opportunity to contain the dangerous virus was wasted."

The Head of the Epidemiology Committee of Iran's Coronavirus Combat Taskforce on Saturday admitted coronavirus (SARS-2-CoV) was spreading in Iran “without being noticed” since around January 20.

In a video conference with reporters, Dr. Ali-Akbar Haqdoust said there was a delay in the detection of the virus in Iran. Iranian Health Ministry officials have until now insisted that the virus arrived in the country about two weeks later, in February.

Earlier in March, Khamenei had maintained that the country's coronavirus outbreak could be part of a "biological attack on the Islamic Republic."

Speaking on the occasion of the new Iranian year (beginning March 20), Khamenei grabbed the chance to expand on his favorite topic, the "enemy."

There are two groups of enemies, humans and the "invisible" Jinns (djins).

The jinn, in his belief, are invisible supernatural creatures with extraordinary powers of destruction now working hand in hand with a host of other enemies.

Blasting Khamenei for such comments, as well as the Islamic Republic authorities' decision to expel the Paris-based Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders from Iran, the signatories of the letter state that the life and existence of every individual in the country is taken hostage by the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, his advisors, and close allies.

Moreover, they have harshly criticized Khamenei for his reluctance to allocate one billion dollars from the National Development Fund to fight the spread of coronavirus. President Hassan Rouhani last week asked Khamenei to allocate the money for medical needs.

However, Khamenei had earlier endorsed allocating $222 million to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) extraterritorial arm, the Qods Force.

The signatories have also lambasted the Islamic Republic leaders for not granting furlough to all political prisoners whose lives are endangered by the Covid-19 outbreak behind bars.

According to the letter, the Islamic establishment is able to suppress widespread anti-regime protests within days, but unable to stop unnecessary inter-city travels to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Based on the official data provided by the Islamic Republic Ministry of Health on Sunday, 2,640 have fallen victim to the Covid-19 in Iran.

Nevertheless, the data collected by Radio Farda shows that at least 4,298 people in Iran have died from the virus as of March 28.