By Jubin Katiraie
As over 34,000 are reported to have died from the coronavirus outbreak in Iran because of the authorities’ inaction and cover-up, the public has once again been shocked by a video that shows a group of impoverished “underground dwellers”.
The film, shot on March 16 and aired on the state-run website of Hamshahri TV on April 20, has angered and disgusted the people, who see that the mullahs’ government is hurting the most vulnerable in society.
While it is not a new phenomenon of people living underground in Iran because they cannot afford to rent or buy property, the film still attracted plenty of attention on social media, especially when these people cannot socially distance and will likely have lower immune systems, so the coronavirus can spread more easily among them.
The existence of these places is heartbreaking, but it also shows the real tragedy and crises caused by the mullahs, who have destroyed Iran. It is truly a disgrace.
But the underground may be the only place these people felt safe to live. Last Wednesday, the suppressive forces destroyed the makeshift houses of impoverished people in Khorramabad province. The people there had lost their houses during the floods last year and received no temporary accommodation or help to rebuild from the mullahs, so they were forced to create shelters, which were then torn down because they didn’t have the right permits.
The Iranian government, whose officials control or own financial institutions worth billions of dollars, have been trying to blame US sanctions for their failure to respond to coronaviruses like a normal government and the poverty that affects 80% of Iranians. (But it is important to remember that this level of extreme poverty predates both the coronavirus and the sanctions).
This money, held by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his cronies, was stolen from the Iranian people in the first place. In fact, a recent internal report by the regime reveals that $4.8 billion went missing in just one year.
It should be given back right now. Even the state-run media agrees.
Massih Mohajer, editor-in-chief of the Jomhuri-e-Eslami daily, wrote on April 9: “Considering the economic recession caused by the coronavirus, what will the big financial institutions such as the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, the Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution and Astan Quds do if they do not spend their money for the impoverished people?”
Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “The mullahs are annihilators of Iran’s economy and its human and material resources… Today, not only the freedom of the people of Iran, but their very lives and health, and the country’s economy and existence depend on the overthrow of the clerical regime.”