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Iran Coronavirus March 29 – Cracks in the Facade

Public Relations Office for National Cyberspace Center has issued a statement threatening prosecution and imprisonment of anybody involved in publishing news contradicting the officials.

Kianoush Jahanpur, Ministry of Health Spokesman, announced 2,901 new confirmed cases and 123 deaths since yesterday afternoon. He said 3,467 are in critical conditions and need your prayers. He added, the average age of infected cases is 55, and average age of dead is 69. Salamat.gov.ir, the online screening tool for officials (using self-reported symptoms), has been used by more than 60million Iranians, according to him.
Total: 38,309
Dead: 2,640
Healed: 12,391
Critical: 3,467
Iran International death toll: 5,301 (+153)

While the officials keep announcing increasing number of Iranians being screened online (more than 3/4 of the country), there are reports of many people not even knowing about the website or their “screening” efforts.

Public Relations Office for National Cyberspace Center has issued a statement threatening prosecution and imprisonment of anybody involved in the following:

False, rumored or unapproved statistics (number of patients, referrals to hospitals, admissions, deceased, burial, etc.)
Unpublished medical news and guidelines
Publishing audio, video, internal memos of organizations
Disrupting or undermining the decisions of the National Committee for Combating Corona
Distributing news about shortage of supplies and causing disruption in the market

Basically saying anything other than what the Islamic Republic regime wants you to say, as always. According to the statement, even if somebody republishes something, is guilty of disrupting national security. They said the Judicial branch is ready to act and we have everything under surveillance. Nobody trusts or listens to what the authorities have to say. Majority of Iranians are seeking truth from sources online and outside government. This statement is another pathetic attempt at stopping the people, but the regime seems to have lost control of everything, quite the opposite of what they’ve been trying to show.

After about 80 inmates escaped from the prison in Saqqez, 19 of them are rearrested and taken back to the prison. 4 prison guards have been arrested as well, under suspicion of letting the prisoners escape. In the meantime, reports of unrest in Hamedan prison came out but it seems like it has died down for now.

While the officials say there shouldn’t be any travel between cities, police is forcing people out of their residences in North Iran if their car plates is not locally registered. This is absurd, since those people are already there, some for 2 months or so, but still, given a few hours to get on the road again!! Spreading the virus even more.

According to East Azerbaijan Governor, there are currently 1,365 confirmed cases in his province. He said, “According to WHO, if residents cooperate and follow social distancing and self-quarantine instructions, the peak would be here by April 15, and then we’ll see the infection/mortality decline.”

A 35-DAY infant was tested positive in Gonabad, Khorasan Razavi province. He’s reportedly in good condition. This is the second child infected with Coronavirus in this town, last time a 3 year old was admitted in the hospital and recovered. An 8-year-old girl in Jahrom, Fars province is also admitted to the hospital. Nobody in her family was tested positive. Her doctor said, “It looks like she was infected during an outing. Parents have to take this seriously and shouldn’t take their kids outside, even for grocery shopping.” There are 53 infected cases and 1 death in Jahrom.

Parliament has been closed for a month already, and now they say it may convene a 2 day meeting on 7-8 April. More than 30 representatives were reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, but even remote meeting were not held and the country was virtually shut down!

Islamic Republic is lying about the situation in US and other countries around the world so much that one of the candidates for becoming Speaker of the Parliament, tweeted: “We sympathize with poor Americans who are struggling with Corona while don’t have access to supplies, but it’s a pity that cruel sanctions by the vengeful US government blocks us from sending you any help.”

Another lie by another Islamic Republic official. The ICT (Information, Communication & Technology) Minister tweeted that they would increase the residential internet speed by 4 times. He said, “Today, we started to improve residential internet from ADSL to VDSL in Tehran and Qom.” However, what people had to say to this news was quite eye-opening: The comments under this news published on a pro-regime website were quite eye-opining for some: They ranged from, “Where is the 100GB free data package you promised?!”, “You’re a liar”, “Our internet is intrupted all the time”, “In 10 years” to “You don’t even know how the infrastructure works, it’s not possible with the current situation”.

ICT Minister’s tweet.
Some comments from Iranians under the news of ICT minister tweet.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been spending her 5 years prison time sentence at notorious Evin prison under the charges of “propaganda against the regime”, is on furlough under April 18. Previously, she was supposed to return to the prison on April 3. She is an Iranian-British citizen who was arrested in Iran 3 years ago while working as Thomson-Reuters representative.

Islamic Republic is passing its own record of lies, contradictions and stupidity!

Cover photo: Kaveh Rostamkhani; NPR

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