According to recent reports, by The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), in early January, Iran’s regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced his regime’s strategy for dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak.
Banning American and British-made vaccines
Khamenei began personally propagating misinformation about American and British-made vaccines, before outright banning their use on the Iranian people, at a time when American philanthropists had already arranged for the distribution of 100,000 doses of vaccines to Iran.
Since then, the Ministry of Health has abandoned some of the responsibility for vaccine production. So-called private companies will be able to arrange imports of Covid-19 vaccines, a move that will undoubtedly have a negative effect on the Iranian people’s attempts to deal with domestic outbreaks that have largely remained unregulated.
Allowing vaccine manufacturers By IRGC to benefit
This goes against an earlier proposal to focus on the Ministry’s Board of Trustees, and it threatens to destabilize markets while indirectly allowing vaccine manufacturers to benefit.
Various entities owned in whole or in part by Barkat Pharmaceuticals Holding Company, which is regulated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself, are among those companies.
Over the years, Khamenei and the IRGC have gradually expanded their interest in the Iranian economy, to the point that they now hold a financial stake in practically every domestic sector, as well as both legal and illegal imports and exports. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is said to manage more than half of Iran’s GDP, much of it through a network of front companies and contracting firms.
The IRGC’s economic dominance
The IRGC’s economic dominance has been a topic of discussion in the light of the pandemic previously. When personal protective equipment was both required and scarce in early-to-mid 2020.
State-linked “private” companies were uncovered hoarding large shipments and either selling or distributing them privately, not only to well-connected Iranians but also to IRGC-linked regional militant groups like Hezbollah.
Since no higher authorities have ever kept the offenders responsible, the news of private vaccine delivery has ignited suspicions that the same practices would be replicated in this new context.
While the Iranian Health Ministry reports that about 60,000 people died as a result of Covid-19 over a 13-month period, independent studies say that the real figure is four times.
Covering up and lies about the spread of Covid-19
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Tehran has been drastically trying to downplay it, even covering up the first cases of population spread for up to two months after they were registered by the country’s National Emergency Organization.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) later acquired those records, as well as hospital and morgue records and eyewitness accounts, in order to maintain its own running log deaths.
The coronavirus gradually became a passive tool against social unrest and political turmoil for Iranian authorities.
“Although the coronavirus crisis delays the conflict, delaying it at the cost of overwhelming issues is a challenge in society. In other words, when society is freed from the clutches of this disease, political, social, and economic faults will begin to move with greater destructive power,” read a piece published by Jahan-e Sanat in March.
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