NCRI-US Webinar: Iran Regime Justifies Its Incompetence in Combating Coronavirus on Sanctions

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On Wednesday, April 8, the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s U.S. Representative Office (NCRI-US) held a webinar, entitled, “Iran COVID-19 Crisis, Sanctions and Tehran’s Response to the Pandemic,”. In the webinar, the NCRI officials and a medical expert addressed the incompetence, cover-up, and negligence of the Iranian regime in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic that has spread to all of Iran’s 31 provinces and caused the death of 22,000 Iranians in 24cities. 

A new report, prepared by the Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRIUS), entitled, “How Iran’s Duplicitous Diplomacy, Callous Policies Cost Lives,” was rolled out as well. 

Mr. Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRIUS deputy director, NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee member Ali Safavi, and Prof. Firouz Daneshgari, a senior surgeon at Case Western Case University and the honorary president of the International Medical Committee, were the panelists.  

“The regime officials must be held accountable for the disaster unfolding in Iran because despite knowing about the outbreak and spread of the virus in Iran, they ignored warnings and deliberately misled the public to prevent the virus from impacting its orchestrated February 11 anniversary festivities and the February 21st sham parliamentary elections,” the panelists said. 

They also said that the regime had launched a massive international campaign advocating the lifting of the sanctions imposed due to its terrorism, human rights violations and nuclear weapons program. While this orchestrated campaign is playing out on the world stage, inside Iran the regime tries to downplay the number of fatalities, the speakers added. 

They noted that to advance its objective, the regime claims that international sanctions are the root cause of the spread of the virus in Iran, which is patently false.     

They argued that the problem is not a lack of money or resources. Hundreds of billions of dollars of the Iranian people’s national wealth are under the control of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Even a small percentage of this wealth, if spent on fighting the coronavirus pandemic, could address all of the logistical, resourcing, and healthcare requirements. 

The panelists concluded that the correct policy is not to give in to this campaign, but rather to pressure the regime to unleash the available resources that belong to the Iranian If other countries and international organizations want to assist the Iranian people, they should not provide resources to the regime; rather, they should dedicate their assistance to the World Health Organization, which can then release it directly to the oppressed people of Iran., they added.  

The text below is the executive summary of this 74-page reporttitled “How Iran’s duplicitous Diplomacy Callous Policies Cost Lives, 

The Executive summary 

The coronavirus pandemic has morphed into a global crisis, with virtually the entire international community resisting its onslaught. Governments around the world have leveraged all resources at their disposal to protect their citizens from a virus that threatens everyone.

But the situation is different with regard to the regime ruling Iran, whose conduct confirms it has no regard for the pain, suffering and deaths of the Iranian people.

Instead, the theocracy views this catastrophe as apolitical opportunity that it can exploit in its domestic and foreign policies. Which explains why, despite knowing about the outbreak and spread of the virus in Iran, it ignored warnings and deliberately misled the public to prevent the virus from impacting its orchestrated February 11 anniversary festivities and the February 21st sham parliamentary elections.

As the coronavirus began to wreak havoc in many countries, and the number of fatalities and infections spiked in Iran, the regime launched a massive international campaign advocating the lifting of the sanctions imposed due to its terrorism, human rights violations and nuclear weapons program. While this orchestrated campaign is playing out on the world stage, inside Iran the regime tries to downplay the number of fatalities.

To advance its objective, the regime claims that international sanctions are the root cause of Iran’s lack of medical resources and equipment, as well as treatment options and pharmaceuticals.

These claims, intended to create cracks in the wall of sanctions, are demonstrably false. First, the problem is not a lack of money or resources. Hundreds of billions of dollars of the Iranian people’s national wealth are under the control of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Even a small percentage of this wealth, if spent on fighting the coronavirus pandemic, could address all of the logistical, resourcing, and healthcare requirements

Second, the necessary medical equipment and supplies have been hoarded and stored in warehouses by regime-related entities, in order to sell them at radically inflated costs to desperate consumers.

Third, no individual, official or government in the world has imposed sanctions on medical treatment, medical equipment or any related product. On the contrary, the World Health Organization has officially announced that it is prepared to help Iran with any such requirements. U.S. officials have also repeatedly declared that not only are there no sanctions in these areas, but that they also stand ready to provide support.

And finally, Iranian regime officials, including its president, Hassan Rouhani, have stated on the record that the regime has no deficiencies when it comes to healthcare. Officials even boast about exporting or donating medical products to other countries.

This report seeks to show that the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s campaign to lift sanctions is replete with lies and misleading claims, with the goal of cynically exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to the regime’s benefit. In effect, the mullahs are causing the death of thousands of Iranians to preserve their own rule.

The correct policy is not to give in to this campaign, but rather to pressure the regime to unleash the available resources that belong to the Iranian people and that are urgently needed to combat the human tragedy unfolding in Iran—a tragedy aggravated by regime corruption and mismanagement. If other countries and international organizations want to assist the Iranian people, they should not provide resources to the regime; rather, they should dedicate their assistance to the World Health Organization, which can then release it directly to the oppressed people of Iran.

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