By Jubin Katiraie
An Iranian official has blamed the people of Iran for infecting the capital of Tehran because they are refusing to stay home.
Alireza Zali, the Commander of Tehran’s Coronavirus Headquarters, told the state-run News Network TV on March 31 that prior to March 10, infections were only high in some parts of Tehran, but now the capital as a whole is infected.
He said: “Unfortunately, the carelessness of some citizens led to the high rate of infections in all parts of the capital. [If locals] had taken hygiene precautions seriously and stayed at home [this would not have spread so much].”
Of course, he failed to note that the coronavirus spread to Tehran from the outbreak epicenter of Qom, which the authorities refused to quarantine
His comments are deeply offensive to the Iranian people and show a disgusting level of privilege. How are Iranians supposed to stay home when they will have no money for food? Must everyone choose between starving to death or getting the coronavirus? Unlike many other countries, Iran has not made provisions for people who have to work outside of the home and if they aren’t getting in money, they cannot buy food. If they cannot buy food, then their homes will become their temporary tombs.
In videos on social media, Iranians under the poverty line, which is 80% of the country, are explaining that they are forced to leave the house to earn enough to feed their families.
One elderly street peddler can be heard asking: "If I go home, how do I make enough for food? I come here at 9 am and go home at 10 pm. Officials should hear my plea; Officials who care nothing for our welfare."
Some people whose workplaces have closed due to the coronavirus and who are not getting paid have been forced to raid bins for food.
Of course, Iranians also continued to go out at the beginning of the outbreak because the state-run media and officials downplayed the dangers and continued to lie about the number of deaths and infections.
The Ministry of Health reports 3,036 deaths, while the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is using credible local reports says the number is at least 15,500. President Hassan Rouhani even claimed during a televised meeting with his cabinet members yesterday that the epidemic was taking a downturn when even the regime’s figures show it to be on the rise.