Iran’s state-run media have acknowledged just how severe the Covid-19 and economic crises in Iran currently are.
Jahan-e Sanat daily wrote on September 23 that they have noticed the vast difference in how Iran, compared with other countries, is trying to control the coronavirus pandemic.
They said, “The ominous Covid-19 entered towards the end of 2019 and continued throughout 2020 and 2021. It showed after decades our governing and management of a crisis in the country to the showcase of competition with other countries.”
The regime did not fail in managing the Covid-19 crisis. It deliberately used the virus and its mass casualties as a barrier against the popular protests which broke out in 2018 and continued throughout 2019.
Janat-e Sanat explained that the Iranian people are blaming regime authorities for delaying the vaccination program which has led to an ‘unprecedented death toll over the past two months and a collapsing healthcare system’. They also acknowledged that nobody is buying claims from the regime that sanctions are to blame for the hindrances in dealing with the pandemic, instead, they blame the regime’s corruption and ‘economic mismanagement’.
In January of this year, the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei banned the import of all reputable international vaccines and ordered the production of domestic vaccines instead.
The domestic vaccine was produced by the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), a huge financial institution Khamenei controls. Now, state-run media acknowledge a part of Khamenei’s scheme to further plunder people by insisting on producing the domestic vaccines.
In an interview with the Sharq daily two weeks ago, Ali Tajernia said that the company behind the domestic vaccine, Barakat, affiliated with the regime, was receiving 200,000 Tomans per each dose of the vaccine, thus giving the regime a reason to be unwilling to buy vaccines from abroad.
State-run Sepid discussed how the pandemic is amplifying the economic problems faced by Iranian citizens. They stated that no one knows the true figures of how many people have lost their lives due to the Covid-19 crisis and questioned how many people were forced to go without treatment considering the expense of a night in the hospital or because the medication Remdesivir is priced at between 700 and 800 thousand tomans, a figure of which many people simply cannot afford given the inflation and poverty crises in Iran.
Sepid said, “No one knows what happened during the consent Covid-19 peaks in slums in marginalized areas and suburbs. Statistics put the number of slum dwellers at between 11 and 25 million and even more, with an estimated 7,600,000 living on the outskirts of cemeteries.”
Looking at the statistics of the poverty level in Iran, Sepid explained that in terms of urban residents, 15.5% are living below the absolute poverty line, while in rural areas, at least a third of residents are struggling.
The ongoing Covid-19 and economic crisis have increased the society’s restiveness, prompting state-run media in recent days to warn officials about another popular uprising.