The coronavirus has spread to all of Iran’s 31 provinces and caused the death of over 22,000 Iranians in 246 towns and cities. The officials of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and a medical expert on Wednesday, 8 April discussed this situation in Iran in a webinar/press briefing, entitled, “Iran COVID-19 Crisis: Sanctions and Tehran’s Response to the Pandemic.”
A new 84-page report, prepared by the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US), entitled, “How Iran’s Duplicitous Diplomacy, Callous Policies Cost Lives,” was released.
NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee member Dr. Ali Safavi, NCRI-US deputy director Alireza Jafarzadeh and Dr. Firouz Daneshgari, Professor of Surgery and 3rd Chairman of the Department of Urology at Case Western Reserve University and honorary president of the International Medical Committee spoke in this webinar/press briefing.
Jafarzadeh emphasized the mullahs must be compelled to allow international organizations into Iran to provide direct help. In lieu of spending vast sums on the IRGC’s Quds Force or its terrorist proxies outside Iran, the regime must be forced to allocate the nation’s wealth to the task of confronting the coronavirus. He stressed the mullahs do have the necessary means and resources to combat the epidemic, but refrain from using them for the health and welfare of the Iranian people.
Many bipartisan members of the US Congress argue that there is no justification for lifting or easing sanctions when the regime continues its support for terrorism, its missile and nuclear programs, and human rights violations at home.
In respond to The Media Express question, about the COVID-19 consequences for Iran and the effect of fighting coronavirus if lifting the US sanctions on the Iranian regime, the participants gave their comment:
Dr. Ali Safavi: “Let me read the questions from The Media Express: Will Iran’s decision to resume business activities spread the coronavirus further and cause more death among Iranians? Wouldn’t that hurt the global fight against the COVID-19? “
Alireza Jafarzadeh: “If I understood the question correctly, you said the policy of Rouhani and Khamenei is putting people back to work, so, what kind of an impact would it have both inside and outside Iran? This is definitely going to be disastrous.
We’re already in a disastrous situation in the country. Sending people back to work when the situation does not allow that is really a crime and it’s going to multiplying exponentially the impact of the coronavirus casualties and it’s going to impact not only the people of Iran but elsewhere because as we speak the Iranian regime is still bringing so-called tourists and visitors into the country, people from Afghanistan and from other countries are brought in by buses.
Just this week they were a number of them. They took them to Qom to some religious centers in various cities of the country and they want to show that everything is fine, we can still have the exchange. All of that is actually hurting the citizens and those of other nations who will be infected in Iran and then go back.
So, this is not just a threat to the people of Iran, it’s going to be a threat to everybody.”
Dr. Safavi: “Thank you very much. Dr. Daneshgari, do you have anything to add to this given that you’re a professional yourself?”
Dr. Daneshgari: “I do. As I was referring to basically the stage planning for this pandemic. The countries are going through different stages. Based on the facts, Iran has not reached its peak, the peak of the curb. Therefore, they still have to be in the position of medication. The data shows even after you have reached to medication and you want to come down like China or some other cities and states in the US, you have to go to the stage of containment.
So, this madness that they have created in Iran has no public health logic, has no medical logic; it is the mullahs’ logic which is unique themselves. Without reaching the peak, they are using people or asking people to go to work! I think it is a crime against humanity and as you know during the earlier phase, they were responsible for spreading the virus to 17 other countries earlier on, prematurely, before those countries could be prepared for their pandemic. And this is going because now as you know in China and some other parts of the world the question is, what is the second wave of this virus going to look like because we still haven’t reached their weather. This virus will mutate and so forth and this is absolute madness.”
Dr. Safavi: “Thank you very much for that thorough response.
Dr. Safavi: “We have a second question from The Media Express which says if US sanctions on the regime are really lifted and all Iranian money is released, could this really help Iran to fight COVID-19? Well, I can respond to this very briefly: Absolutely not. I think the case in point is to remember that during the Iran nuclear deal after JCPOA was signed, the Obama Administration provided $150 billion to the Iranian regime, $1.7 billion in cash, but all of that money was not spent on the welfare and the well-being of the Iranian people. It ended up in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.
Remember that under Khatami while they increased the budget for the ministry of intelligence and the IRGC by several folds, they cut the budget of the health ministry by a considerable percentage, prompting the health minister to resign, so clearly any money given to the regime will not end up helping the people of Iran.”