The Covid-19 virus has created a frightening atmosphere for people the world over because it is an unknown. News of the outbreak breeds terror as it makes no distinction between continents, social classes, cities, villages, the poor and the rich. But it also threatens the fate of political rulers.
Compared to the plague of the 14th century, which to various extents led to the overthrow of empires and played a role in ending the Dark Ages, this virus has subjected the governments of today to equally severe existential tests. Now Iran is in the eye of the storm. If social history has become divided into two periods, before and after Coronavirus, some countries’ rulers will no longer exist after the period.
The New York Times reports that Iran is becoming “a global threat” that is spreading the Coronavirus “to many neighboring countries.”
But the Iranian regime is doing its utmost to disguise the facts as a conspiracy.
In a 23 March speech, Khamenei said, “They may introduce a drug that persists the virus in Iran or send people to ensure the effectiveness of the virus in Iran.” He even warned of human and Elf world cooperation against Iran.
Throughout history, pandemic outbreaks in the world have always been associated with rumors and conspiracy theories; these rumors have most often been fueled by rulers seeking to disguise their inefficiency and save their shaky government from overthrow. In Europe in the late Middle Ages, during the plague outbreak, racist violent policies were enacted against religious minorities and Jews, accusing them of poisoning wells, spreading the plague.
Reza Malekzadeh, the Deputy Minister of Health, said on 14 March 2020: “We had extensive communication with China and there was a lot of commuting.” Continuing, he said, “also in response to the question of whether we stopped the air traffic with China in a timely manner? No, it was not done because of considerations. That is to say that it was not taken very seriously.” These ‘considerations’ were the same sham elections and rally for the anniversary of the revolution that Khamenei, for strategic reasons, wanted to execute no matter the cost.
Now, because of pressure from security agencies of the Revolutionary Guards, the Doctors Without Borders team that came to Iran to provide a helping hand in Isfahan in dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak went under the shadow of the same “conspiracy theory”. While three officials from the regime’s Ministry of Health had invited the team to come to Iran, the regime expelled them as spies as soon as they set up a 50-bed temporary hospital.
But the regime is not stopping at raising conspiracy theories and accusing others but intends to free itself from sanction using the Coronavirus crisis as an excuse.
In recent weeks, Tehran officials have repeatedly claimed that the US sanctions have resulted in a shortage of medicines and medical supplies.
On 14 March 2020, Zarif, in a “very urgent” letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, cried about; “the consequences of the most severe and widespread economic terrorism that has been perpetrated by the US government illegally and comprehensively since May”. This while everyone knows that buying drugs and medical supplies is exempt from sanctions, that the regime is spending people’s capital on meddling in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, and Khamenei are unwilling to spend from the $100 billion reserves in the imam’s executive headquarters.
But the regime is aware of the consequences of such a policy and, sending the Revolutionary Guards and police to the streets under the pretext of “biological warfare”, is to confront uprisings and maintain control in critical and forthcoming situations.
The main question now is whether the Iranian regime will survive the Coronavirus crisis. Jean-Pierre Filiu, a French expert on the Middle East and Arab affairs, wrote in a blog post published by Le Monde: “the Coronavirus crisis in Iran is part of a crisis of mistrust and an unprecedented rift between the Iranian regime and its people, and the Islamic regime of Iran seeks to intensify its crisis with the United States and attribute the source of all domestic problems to Washington’s sanctions so that it can partly relieve itself from sharp criticism by its unhappy people.
Jean-Pierre Filiu considers this strategy insufficient and ineffective, saying that the shock of the Coronavirus crisis for the Islamic Republic of Iran will appear only after the end of this calamity, and on that day the “moment of truth for the Islamic Republic of Iran will be terrible. “
*Iran News Wire is home to real news on Iran. We are dedicated to honest and reliable reporting. We aim to be the voice of the Iranian people and their protests for freedom and democracy at a time when the Iranian government wants to silence dissent and suppress their voices for democracy