Skip to main content

Iran’s oppression of the people and COVID-19 response dominates 2020

Written By | Mar 24, 2021
Iran, Covid-19, Mullahs, Iran, CoronaVirus, IRGC, Iran Royal Guard

Composite using freely available images by CDN

The new Persian calendar year of 1400 began on March 21, 2021. In the past year, Iranian society has dealt with many challenges and experiences. A tally of significant events in Iran included the spread of the Coronavirus, the uprisings of 2019, and the Ukrainian plane’s shooting incident. Some sociologists refer to these events as an accumulation of crises.

Beyond these significant considerations, the Iranian people struggle financially to cover their most basic needs. Amplified by the spread of Coronavirus, families have been overwhelmed socially and economically, reaching their breaking point. These social and economic issues have reached the point that even child suicide has become a common occurrence. Concerns about the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its broader impact are growing every moment.

Despite the increasing mortality rate, there is no vaccination plan in Iran.

From the beginning of the pandemic, the Iranian regime has announced different statistics on COVID-19 cases and the resulting deaths. Confusing the people. The Iranian opposition Mojahedin Khalq, the Iranian regime’s sworn enemies fighting for freedom, has announced that the death toll in more than five hundred cities totals some 216,000 people.

The Iranian society was ill-prepared to face the pandemic, being embroiled in an array of social and economic crises. People’s trust in the government had waned dramatically. Since March 2020, gross lies and fabrications among the officials about COVID-19 included denials that the virus was present in Iran. This denial of the facts led to slow progress in the patients’ treatment and increased mortality rates.

When the government was supposed to give an accurate account of the virus’s spread to the people and warn them of this disease’s threat, they opted for the denial game and hid the truth.

Read more from Hamid Enayat on CDN

In the first months of the COVID-19 outbreak, Iran ranked second globally in the number of infections. The country was practically considered one of the centers of the disease’s spread worldwide. One primary reason for the unprecedented spread was that even though the world closed its borders to China, Iran expanded its air traffic to china more than before.

Unlike other countries that took specific bold measures to break the chain of Corona deaths, Iran’s fatalities increased, and as a result, its economy was affected negatively.

Unlike other countries with a comprehensive vaccination plan, no mass vaccination effort has been initiated within Iran.

The government officials and those associated with them are vaccinated, but the Iranian people must continue to suffer without the hope of a vaccine.

Many countries worldwide have offered financial relief to their people and have encouraged them to stay home to stop the virus’s spread. In Iran, however, there has been no financial relief plan from the government, forcing people to leave their houses and go to work. This reality has not helped the slowdown in the spread of COVID-19. The government is treading on very shaky ground.

Due to its corruption, mismanagement, and lack of social freedoms, Iran’s people are planning for a future that does not include the mullahs. In the past year, people’s preoccupation with the most fundamental necessities’ high prices has left them on their knees. The only option is to break the yoke of the regime upon their neck so they can rise.

Trust Broken by the Iranian Regime

A few months before the spread of the virus in Iran, we witnessed events such as the November 2019 protests. Then Iran admits to unintentionally shooting down Ukrainian plane.(NBC News)

These events took place after the 2017 elections in Iran. The hungry and the unemployed became more vocal. The trust between them and the government diminished further.

Following the events of November 2019, the government suffered deep divisions domestically and internationally.

The country entered a cycle of inefficiency, corruption, and severe mistrust between the people and the government. Due to its terrorist activities, Iran has become very isolated internationally.

All of these issues and challenges have created a concentration of crises for Iran’s government. The Iranian government is afraid that these crises could push them over the edge. The last widespread crisis was the Baloch people’s uprising, who took up arms and occupied a Revolutionary Guards base. It is logical to say that people’s willingness to endure is reaching its limit.

Khamenei’s Fatwa Against the Vaccine

It is not without reason that Khamenei issued a fatwa not to buy a reputable vaccine from Western countries or Iran’s close ally, Russia. The government did not take any effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 because it counted on the pandemic to keep the Iranian people subservient.

The problem was not the lack of money or the presence of the sanctions. Khamenei planned to force the people to work for their livelihood and become exposed to the virus. He hoped their preoccupation with the virus would delay their desire for any social unrest or uprisings.

In addition to Khamenei’s evil COVID-19 intentions, the regime’s execution machine is busier than ever. Arbitrary arrests continue. Any delay in implementing a vaccination plan could have severe security and political consequences for the regime’s future.

The COVID-19 crisis has occupied people’s minds and lives and has caused a temporary pause in people’s desire to participate in social uprisings. Ultimately, it will only cause people’s anger and dissatisfaction to grow even more. When this society is freed from the clutches of COVID-19 or even before it (like the Baloch people’s uprising), political, social, and economic uprisings will form with much greater destructive power for the regime and its mullahs.


Hamid Enayat

Hamid Enayat is an independent Iranian political analyst and writer based in Europe.