PARIS, FRANCE: The Iranian regime is using COVID-19 to further repress its people.
“Between 2005 and 2011, the Iranian regime earned 618 billion dollars from oil revenue, which is equivalent to the total oil revenues gained since the discovery of oil in the country. However, it has never been clear what happened to this huge sum”, said former Head of Iran’s Central Bank to the Islamic Republic Newspaper.
Besides, after signing the nuclear deal (JCPOA) in 2015, more than 150 billion dollars of Iran’s blocked capitals were released.
Despite all this wealth, in 2017, people were taking the streets in 140 cities to protest over the extreme economic stagnation, high inflation, and poverty in the country. Today, two-thirds of the population in Iran is below the poverty line.
According to unofficial data published by Tabnak site on March 27, there are around 4,700 waste picker children aged 10 to 15 just in Tehran and almost 40% are the only household breadwinner. (Iran Extraditing Afghan Children Who Are Waste Pickers Amid Coronavirus Epidemic)
Now, the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran has led to a horrifying tragedy.
Waste picker children, who have not received any training about the disease, are roaming the streets and collecting rubbish to make money. Neglecting these children endangers not only their health but also society as a whole.
And for the worse, the regime has prevented new Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from operating in Iran.
Three members of the Parliament and Chairman of the Citizens Rights faction are demanding the use of SHASTA funds (large corporations affiliated with the Ministry of Cooperatives), The Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, Mostazafan Foundation and the Petrochemical Holding.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei controls the supply and distribution of masks, clothes, glasses and other essentials for medical staff.
In the meantime, President Hassan Rouhani asked Khamenei to release 2 billion dollars from the Development Fund to compensate for the Coronavirus damage. Now, Khamenei has to approve this request, proving that the capital of the nation is in hands of Khamenei. All while he and the Revolutionary Guards are plundering this wealth.
Iran hiding the details of COVID-19 outbreaks
Based on reports and evidence, the Iranian regime has hidden the first cases of Coronavirus in the country to attract more people to the polls for the parliamentary elections. It needed high participation to recover legitimacy both in the country and worldwide, after the last two uprisings held in November 2019 and January 2020, where many young people were killed by the suppressing forces.
Prisoners in six prisons across the country have rebelled for fear of getting infected by Coronavirus, as they are exposed to the virus in a small environment without the most basic health facilities and the regime is not releasing them.
On March 30, prisoners in Sepiadr prison of Ahwaz, riot against the guards and tried to escape terrified by Coronavirus. Law enforcement and guards shoot them, and parts of the prison were set on fire.
In conclusion, the Iranian regime is abusing this situation to earn more money or get access to the blocked capital, not to get resources to confront COVID-19 outbreak, but to repress people and support its strategic allies in the region, such as Hezbollah and Hashd al-shaabi.
Lead Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3662823 plus Coronoavirus image from CDC