- "The president and the security forces must think about livelihoods and not the formation of an uprising."
- Many experts, and even officials within the system, have repeatedly pointed to the problem of widespread corruption.
- The Minister of Health has been absent from the media for several months.
Iranian Minister of Health Saeed Namaki issued a serious warning to government officials at an emergency meeting of the Coronavirus Headquarters in Tehran on Wednesday. “Security reports come to us,” he said. It is serious that friends are moving from poverty to poverty.
“The president and the security forces must think about livelihoods and not the formation of an uprising.” In recent days, Iran, especially the metropolis of Tehran, has witnessed a sharp increase in cases of coronavirus and an increase in the number of deaths due to it, and the reason for holding this meeting was the upward trend.
The Minister criticized the lack of attention to people’s livelihood problems on Wednesday, saying that he had received only 30 percent of the $1 billion budget promised to address the problems of the Coronavirus era.
Coronavirus’ rise to prominence in Iran is due to the lifting of restrictions, and forcing people to go to offices, factories, and business, in a situation where there is no possibility of social distance. This is especially true in big cities, public transport, and many other places.
“The Ministry of Health which was supposed to tend to health and to livelihood even more than health was ordered to keep asking the personnel to write a protocol about how to reopen the country instead of how to close it,” Namaki said on Wednesday.
“We are under sanction, and our treasury is empty because of American pressures,” he added. “The police and security forces must think about the livelihood of the people and preventing an uprising.”
Problems Due to Sanctions or Corruption?
The Iranian government is trying to blame all economic and livelihood problems on US sanctions. However, many experts, and even officials within the system, have repeatedly pointed to the fact that much of Iran’s economic problems and empty treasury are due to widespread corruption.
In addition, the Islamic Republic pays astronomical funds for its weapons, nuclear program, and support for its allies in the region. The combination of these factors has led the Iranian government to allocate very low budgets for the livelihoods of very low-income rural communities, which is not enough to support their minimum livelihood.
The government’s plan is to provide a one-million-toman loan to four million Iranian households, identified as “special classes” and “vulnerable.” Meanwhile, the salaries of members of parliament have been increased by 20% this year.
According to reports, the salaries of the deputies with the benefits granted to them in 1999 are not less than 30 million tomans per month. In contrast, the salary of a worker is less than two million tomans per month.
This comparison only sheds light on some of the injustices in Iran. Observers believe that the main reason for the people’s extreme poverty is the astronomical figures that the security, military, and private companies pocket from Iran’s wealth resources. The news of their thefts has been controversial many times, and the cases of some of them are currently being considered in court.
In the midst of such a structure, the Iranian Health Minister told officials that “tired and exhausted people” could not be “kept at home with slogans” and “forced traders to close their businesses.”
Elsewhere, he described the deplorable state of Iran’s healthcare system as the biggest economic loss. “University hospitals earn only 15 percent of their own revenue, while 60 to 70 percent of their spending must go to this revenue.” He added, “we have suffered the most casualties financially.”
Minister’s Long Absence from Media
While the officials of the Anti-Coronavirus Headquarters, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, and its deputy, Iraj Haririchi, have been constantly appearing in front of the media cameras in recent months, and have provided statistics or warnings, the Minister of Health himself was completely absent.
“I didn’t come in front of the camera for a long time because I was so angry and so heartbroken,” he said. Saeed Namaki said at an emergency meeting that he was under intense pressure. Namely, the pressure to lift restrictions, reopen economic centers, and attacks on him and other health officials and crew.
Many in Iran believe that the Islamic Republic not only “joked” about the suspension of flights to China, but also made a bitter joke with the lives of the people. In the midst of the outbreak of coronavirus in Iranian cities, he hid it from the public to hold march programs, religious ceremonies, and elections, without the slightest hesitation in reaching the coronavirus tsunami. Flights to China are also part of the same complex.
Despite all this, the sacrifices of the hospital staff and the efforts of the people were able to overcome the Coronavirus wave for a period of time and reduce the number of deaths and infections. However, that capacity is running out.
In recent days, the number of deaths due to coronavirus in Iran has broken a record, and the number of patients is increasing significantly. The situation in many provinces is red or alarming.
At a meeting on Wednesday, Alireza Zali, commander of the Coronavirus Headquarters in Tehran, said that “for more than four months, personnel working in the field of health advocacy have been working around the clock. A lot of these staff are tired, and the second round of surveys shows that a lot of our colleagues are at risk again.”
According to him, the 4,400 university staff in Tehran have been infected with coronavirus so far.