Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, has reportedly had to cancel its annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day rally due to the nation’s continued struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China.
“Iran stages the annual demonstrations out of solidarity with the Palestinians every year on al-Quds Day, the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan, which this year falls on May 22,” Haaretz reported. “Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, the city claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians as their capital. Iran does not recognize Israel and regards it as the source of all regional problems.”
A spokesperson for Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is a designated terrorist organization, told a semi-official Iranian news agency over the weekend, “The fact is that we are not in a normal situation because of the coronavirus and therefore cannot organize the al-Quds rallies as in previous years.”
Iran, which was one of the first countries to be hit by the pandemic, is widely believed to be lying about the true extent of the pandemic in their nation.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told The Free Beacon at the end of March, “The regime has imprisoned dozens of Iranians for sharing statistics and forced hospital officials across Iran to falsify the number of cases and deaths.”
According to a Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus tracker, Iran has at least 98,647 reported coronavirus cases and at least 6,277 reported deaths.
However, the real figures are likely far greater as a World Health Organization official indicated in mid-March that Iran’s real numbers were likely at least five times higher than what was being reported.
The Wall Street Journal reported in mid-March:
Iranian officials identified the central city of Qom as the center of an outbreak that was announced on Feb. 19, but refused to quarantine the city, calling such measures relics of the era before World War I.
After the virus spread to other cities, the government kept the roads open to the northern part of the country, despite pleas from local officials there to restrict traffic, though it has urged Iranians not to travel and has canceled large gatherings such as Friday prayers.
Iran’s outbreak was so bad that The Washington Post obtained satellite images that showed mass graves being dug:
Two days after Iran declared its first cases of the novel coronavirus — in what would become one of the largest outbreaks of the illness outside of China — evidence of unusual activity appeared at a cemetery near where the infections emerged.
At the Behesht-e Masoumeh complex in Qom, about 80 miles south of Tehran, the excavation of a new section of the graveyard began as early as Feb. 21, satellite images show, and then rapidly expanded as the virus spread. By the end of the month, two large trenches — their lengths totaling 100 yards — were visible at the site from space.
According to expert analysis, video testimony and official statements, the graves were dug to accommodate the rising number of virus victims in Qom.
In mid-March, a British journalist reported that a doctor that she spoke to in Iran said that they were losing “20 or 30 patients a day” at just one hospital and that it was “worse than a war.”
Tonight @Channel4News I’m reporting on #coronavirus spreading in Iran, including audio of a desperate doctor who says his hospital is losing 20 or 30 patients a day. “It’s a disaster. It’s worse than the war.” A few days after the recording he also died.
— Lindsey Hilsum (@lindseyhilsum) March 13, 2020
Nearly a month later, Iranian officials were lashing out at China for lying to the world about the extent of their outbreak, saying that it was obvious based on what they were experiencing that China was not telling the truth.
A doctor on Iran’s coroanvirus task force, epidemiologist Dr. Hamid Souri, also took a shot at China’s reported numbers.
“The evidence shows us that what happened is worse than what the Chinese reported,” Souri said. “We could not make any judgements at first because our country had no experience [with coronavirus] to compare the results.”
“Wrong data leads to wrong results and incorrect policies which in turn lead to in an increase in the number of victims,” Souri continued. “Italy is now experiencing a slowing trend [in infections and deaths] but we have unfortunately not got there yet.”
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