Regime “took inadequate cautionary measures to restrict and monitor travelers from China.”
With coronavirus taking a heavy toll, the Iranian regime is digging mass graves to cover-up the real extent of the epidemic. The mass graves are so large that they can be seen from space. Recent satellite images show the regime digging mass graves in Qom region, some 70 miles south of Iranian capital Tehran.
Qom province is regarded as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak which has infected more than 11,000 Iranian so far, data collected by Johns Hopkins University show. While the official Iranian death toll is at 514, some independent sources put those numbers to be nearly double that size.
As Tehran continues to deny the existence of mass graves and downplays the outbreak, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s military arm and a U.S. designated terror outfit, has taken charge of dealing with the epidemic. “Over next 10 days, entire nation will be monitored via cyberspace, by phone and, if necessary, in person; those suspected of being ill will be identified,” Gholamreza Soleimani, the head of the IRGC-affiliated Basij militia said. Basij Forces have been charged with “emptying of shops, streets and roads,” newspaper Times of Israel reported.
British newspaper The Guardian reported the discovery of mass graves near Tehran:
Satellite images of mass graves in the city of Qom suggest Iran’s coronavirus epidemic is even more serious than the authorities are admitting. (…) They confirm the worst fears about the extent of the epidemic and the government’s subsequent cover-up. On 24 February, at the time the trenches were being dug, a legislator from Qom, 75 miles (120 km) south of Tehran, accused the health ministry of lying about the scale of the outbreak, saying there had already been 50 deaths in the city, at a time when the ministry was claiming only 12 people had died from the virus nationwide.
The deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, held a press conference to “categorically deny” the allegations, but he was clearly sweating and coughing as he did so. The next day, Harirchi confirmed that he had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. (…)
Amir Afkhami, who has written a history of Iran’s experience of cholera epidemics, A Modern Contagion, said the mass graves add weight to suspicions the real mortality figures are much higher and are still being covered by the leadership.
“It doesn’t surprise me that they are now trying to create mass graves and trying to hide the actual extent of the impact of the disease,” Dr Afkhami, an associate professor at George Washington University, said.
He added that the close trading partnership between Iran and China, and the government’s fear of disrupting that partnership had contributed to the early and rapid spread of the disease.
“Because of China’s status as the country’s principal commercial partner, the Iranian government took inadequate cautionary measures to restrict and monitor travelers from China,” Dr Afkhami said. “Then, later on, Tehran’s lack of transparency and unwillingness to take robust measures such as social distancing and quarantine, particularly at the epicenter of the outbreak, helped spread the virus.”
The drastic measures come as an increasing number of regime official are getting infected by the disease, including the top commander of the Islamic Guard. In the span of just a few day, two of the top commanders of the terrorist organization have died of the virus. The top IRGC commander, Nasser Sha’abani, was reported dead on Friday, following the death of IRGC-affiliated Basij Forces commander, Mohammad Haj Abolghasem. He was known as the “butcher of Tehran” for his role in the bloody suppression of recent pro-democracy protests in which 1,500 Iranian were murdered.
Among those who succumbed the epidemic is also the regime’s top terrorist-turned-diplomat Hossein Sheikholeslam, who in 1979 stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and interrogated American hostages during the 444-day ordeal. Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, who acted as the spokeswoman for the hostage-takers, also tested positive for the virus.
There have been questions surrounding the health of the regime’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei after two of his key advisers contracted the disease. Khamenei’s advisor Seyed Mohammad Mir-Mohammadi died of the virus two weeks ago.
Ayatollah’s another aide, Ali Akbar Velayati, was being treated for the virus. Velayati is wanted by Interpol for masterminding the 1994 car bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The terrorist attack killed 85 people, injuring hundreds others.
Iran has been particularly exposed to the coronavirus due to regime’s economic dependency on China. The flight activity between China and Iran also hint towards deeper cooperation between the Communist state and the Shia Islamic regime. According to media reports, Islamic Guard-run Mahan Air had been operating flights into China as late as February 24. The airline is known for transporting fighters and weaponry to pro-Iranian terrorist groups across the Middle East, a U.S. Treasury report in December 2019 found.
[Cover image via YouTube]
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