After China, the Islamic Republic of Iran has emerged as the second focal point of coronavirus, and thanks to the ruling mullahs' lies and cover-ups, Tehran is spreading it to the rest of the planet. Pictured: A sanitary worker disinfects Qom's Masumeh shrine on February 25, 2020. (Photo by Mehdi Marizad/Fars News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently called the coronavirus a "blessing." After China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, its ally, has emerged as the second focal point of coronavirus, and thanks to the ruling mullahs' lies and cover-ups, Tehran is spreading it to the rest of the planet.
The Iranian authorities at first claimed that the country was not experiencing a crisis regarding the coronavirus: that no one in Iran had contracted the disease. Soon, however, leaked information disclosed that top Iranian officials were aware of the coronavirus in Iran but had decided to conceal the truth.
When a few Iranian authorities were pressured to provide information, they stated that they are not allowed to report the actual number of people who have been infected or died. The head of the Medical Sciences University in Qom, Mohammad Reza Ghadir, for instance, said on Iran's state television that the Ministry of Health had issued a ban on disclosing statistics on the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The question is: Are the ruling mullahs attempting purposefully to spread the coronavirus to other countries as a form of global jihad? Otherwise, why would Iran's top Ayatollah call coronavirus a "blessing"?
Now, not only is the Iranian regime refusing to give the public or the international community a full and accurate picture of the coronavirus outbreak; it is also not taking any necessary steps and precautions to prevent the crisis from spreading.
While the city of Qom has become the epicenter through which the coronavirus is being transmitted to other part of the world, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pointed out that the government has no plans to quarantine the city or, for that matter, any other town.
In addition, although Iran's leaders were aware of the high number of its people infected with the coronavirus, they did not halt their flights to other countries.
The website Eghtesad Online wrote on February 19 that Iranian officials had falsely claimed to have suspended flights.
It is important to remind the public that Iran's commercial airlines, specifically Iran Air and Mahan Air, have been utilized for the illicit transport of weapons and military staff, including members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its elite Quds Force and the Basij militia. These airlines usually fly to countries such as Syria unannounced. Several countries, including Germany and France, have banned flights by Mahan Air.
The Islamic Republic is also failing to provide services across Iran to test people for the virus. Mohammad Reza Ghadir confirmed that "most of the tests have to be done in Tehran, and Tehran announces it." The regime is also failing to conduct full examinations on patients. After some people died in Kamkar Hospital in Qom, a hospital employee said:
"Precise statistics cannot be said because we had suspected fatalities from about 10 days ago and, until two days ago, all were buried without careful examination and there is a high probability that they were infected with the coronavirus."
The situation has become so perilous that some members of the Iranian parliament have finally come forward and criticized the theocratic establishment for failing to address the issue adequately.
"Qom is not doing well in terms of the spread of the coronavirus, and I think the government's performance in controlling the virus has failed.
"Nurses currently lack proper quarantine clothing and are caring for patients with fear and anxiety. There are many problems for nurses and there are few facilities, and Qom also lacks laboratory kits.
"It is true that we must keep calm, but we should not observe the scale of the crisis as if nothing had happened... Unfortunately, the coronavirus outbreak has been in Qom for three weeks and this has been announced late."
The Iranian leaders' cover-up and lies are some of the underlying reasons behind the spread of coronavirus to other nations. By calling the coronavirus a "blessing", Iran's Supreme Leader seems to suggest that his objective is to spread the virus to other countries, particularly Israel and the West.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu