Discontent is building up in Iran against its Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei over the mishandling of Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Recently, a group of 100 Iranian academics and political and social activists issued a letter holding Khamenei chiefly responsible for the ‘national disaster’. Covid has taken a heavy toll on Iran killing more than a thousand people. The exact number is yet unknown, as world believes that most of the numbers released by the government cannot be relied upon.
The letter, appeared on the Kalame.com website, a pro-media outlet of the Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest since 2011 for criticizing Khamenei and other regime officials for their oppression of the Green Movement protests and for falsifying the 2009 presidential elections.
The signatories alleged that Khamenei failed miserably in drawing up policies which led to large-scale deaths and also concealed information about the coronavirus outbreak from the public. According to the signatories, political and religious considerations weighed higher for him rather than dealing with the issue.
They stated that instead of acting swiftly, Khamenei was churning out conspiracy theories about bio-terror and demons who assist Iran’s enemies, and even prevents the people from receiving American or other humanitarian aid, while he and other regime officials do have access to medical treatment. They also accuse President Rouhani of being complicit in the disaster by cooperating with Khamenei in inciting and attributing the crisis to an enemy plot.
Khamenei did not put to use financial and media apparatus at his command to the benefit of the people. The large funds serve the regime’s project of exporting the revolution; the security apparatuses, who put down even the slightest protest, fail to follow the guidelines of the medical experts and minimize public movement in order to restrain the spread of the disease, while the broadcasting authority and media hide information from the public and even blame the public itself for the situation.