In the midst of coronavirus crisis in Iran, which based on information of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) has taken lives of over 33,400 people some footages from Iran showing over 16 million chickens being buried alive have shocked the Iranian society, which has been grappling with poverty. This happened while the regime tries to depict U.S. sanctions as the reason for the poverty and coronavirus crisis in Iran.
This action was done by the order of Ministry of Agriculture Jihad which is under the command of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). The first reaction by the regime’s officials was justifying this notorious act. When they could no longer do this due to the reaction by the society, and fearing possible protests, they first tried to arrest those who had leaked the videos of burying chick and when they could not do so, they tried to discredit them.
Morteza Rezai, the regime’s deputy of Ministry of Agriculture Jihad, in an interview with the state TV on Sunday tried to justify this atrocious act.
Rezai said: “Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the usage of poultry has declined, resulting in its price decrease. Therefore, there was an enormous pressure on the poultry farmers. The only way to reduce this pressure was restricting the breeding of chicks to 115 pieces instead of 115. The farmers were supposed to do this, and they didn’t,” he continued trying to shift the blame on others by saying “It was supposed that the eggs be eliminated not the chicks.”
Morteza Rezai also said: “Elimination of chicks is a common method. Some three million chicks per month are eliminated in the country; no video has been released. Yet, this time the scenes were released on social media showing the process of elimination of chicks. This is not acceptable; we have spoken to the prosecutor’s office to investigate the motives behind the published footages.”
In a similar development, Akbar Golshahi, Director General of the Office of Health and Management of Poultry, Bee and Silkworm Diseases of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad, said: “Elimination of chicks is used not only in our country but also in the world to create a balance in production.” So, he tried to normalize this notorious act instead of explaining why they have done this.
The regime’s officials such as Rezai and Golshahi tried first to justify this by blaming poor farmers and saying that the overproduction of the chicks has decreased the poultry prices in the market, and since there are apparently no grains the farmers were forced to kill their chicks. Yet, theses officials refuse to say why the regime didn’t purchase these chicks to feed impoverished people, particularly amid the coronavirus outbreak. News from Iran also indicate that there are tons of grain at the Iranian harbors.
The regime’s president Hassan Rouhani, ordered the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to follow up this issue and prosecute those who had “affected the public opinion via publishing these videos online.”
Gholam-Ali Faraghi, president of the country’s one-day-old chicken producers’ association, said: “In addition to the lack of poultry inputs at reasonable prices, it is not possible to sell one-day-old chickens due to the presence of broilers in breeding halls.”
The decrease of poultry would have hurt the regime’s affiliated financers, particularly those affiliated with the IRGC. One of these people is Javad Modallal, a relative of mullah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, an ally of the supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
Modallal is one of the famous billionaires in Iran. He and his two sons, Saman and Peyman, monopolized large parts of the country’s economy. They have close ties with the IRGC. They had a significant share in different industrial sectors like vegetable oil, cement, mineral water, tea, molting iron and steel.
The regime’s affiliates such as Modallal control the market and lead poor Iranian farmers to eliminate their future and lose capital so the regime’s affiliates could expand their financial empire.
Fearing a possible social outrage, Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s Judiciary chief, known for his role in massacring 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 (mostly MEK members and supporters), said: “The killing of chicks hurts people’s feeling. This was an illegal and immoral act. The worst, however, was the excuses by the officials, trying to justify this by speaking of its background.”
A video obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) shows a chicken breeder telling the regime’s officials: “Shame on You. Filthy thugs. My chicks are starving to death. Shame on you. I hope you contract coronavirus and die. I can’t feed them. I wasted all my capital but couldn’t find seeds. Shame on you. Thugs. Look, my chicks are starving… look.”
The Iranian regime has committed this crime while millions of Iranians are starving to death. Since the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, the regime, instead of helping people or at least telling them the truth, has either continued its inaction or cover-up. The regime, however, tries to use this crisis as levers of domestic oppression and pressure on international community to lift sanctions so the mullahs could continue their illicit activities. In a nutshell, the regime’s official, particularly Khamenei and Rouhani, do not care about people’s lives and have indeed taken them hostage to pursue their own goals. Therefore, instead of financially helping people, or at least feeding the impoverished people, the regime has forced them to go back to work amid the coronavirus, and on the other hand, it kills chicks. The regime’s policies have resulted in nearly 33,000 deaths due to the coronavirus, according to the MEK.
“The clerical regime is having hungry chicks buried alive. This is an unforgivable crime emblematic of the mullahs’ immeasurable atrocity in massacring Iran’s children and nature. Now, they are sending the people of #Iran to their deaths by lifting protective measures.”
“The mullahs are annihilators of Iran’s economy and its human and material resources. Their answer for throngs of hungry people was burying 16 million young chickens, even as ships loaded with bird seeds are in the docks, and many people are surviving only on dry bread and water,” she added.