President Rouhani Claims ‘Downward Trend’ in Coronavirus Cases Across Iran

In this photo released by the official website of the Office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani attends a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Iran has been the hardest hit country by the new coronavirus in the Middle East. For most people, the new coronavirus …
Office of the Iranian Presidency via AP

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that “all provinces of Iran, without exception, have witnessed a downward trend in the coronavirus infection cases,” as reported by Iran’s state-run Tasnim news agency.

Rouhani treated this alleged accomplishment as a towering success that demonstrates Iranian superiority:

He noted that the promising statistics suggest that the Iranian medical society, experts and people have been on the right track.

The president also expressed gratitude to Iranian citizens for observing the health protocols and staying home which resulted in the decline of COVID-19 infections across the country.

President Rouhani then pointed to an 80% decrease in the Nowruz travels during the first days of spring compared to the past years, saying the disease peak has been over in the majority of the provinces during the very first days of the new year.

Rouhani went on to explain that China’s “Wuhan model” of lockdowns and quarantines could not be implemented in Iran, so Tehran implemented an alternative strategy that was astoundingly effective. He was a bit fuzzy on the details of this plan but firmly insisted the results are the envy of the world:

The president further pointed to the administration’s new decisions to control the coronavirus pandemic, saying whoever contracts COVID-19 must inform the family, the work place and the officials, warning that violators will have to face prosecution.

President Rouhani then stated that around 13,000 hospital beds in Iran are still unoccupied, noting that only 4,000 out of a total of 6,800 ICU beds in the country are currently occupied.

Highlighting the country’s domestic capabilities in the war on coronavirus, the president said the homegrown medical ventilators are being manufactured adequately and delivered to hospitals, stressing that the medical centers and laboratories across the country are receiving sufficient shipments of hospital gowns, personal protective equipment, and coronavirus diagnostic test kits.

Reuters quoted Rouhani boasting during his cabinet meeting that Iran’s victory over the Wuhan virus is so complete that the United States missed its chance to lift sanctions and apologize for treating Tehran badly:

“The United States lost the best opportunity to lift sanctions,” Hassan Rouhani said in a televised cabinet meeting. “It was a great opportunity for Americans to apologize … and to lift the unjust and unfair sanctions on Iran.”

The coronavirus has killed more than 3,000 people in Iran with confirmed infections close to 48,000, making it the worst-hit country in the Middle East and prompting China and the United Nations to urge the United States to ease sanctions.

“Americans could have used this opportunity and told the Iranian nation that they are not against them,” Rouhani said. “Their hostility (toward Iranians) is obvious.”

Although Iranian officials complain endlessly about civilian suffering supposedly caused by U.S. sanctions against their nuclear weapons program and terrorist activities, Rouhani on Wednesday claimed U.S. sanctions had no effect whatsoever on Iran’s amazing coronavirus response.

“The sanctions have failed to hamper our efforts to fight against the coronavirus outbreak,” he said. “We are almost self-sufficient in producing all necessary equipment to fight the coronavirus. We have been much more successful than many other countries in the fight against this disease.”

In fact, as Reuters noted, France, Germany, and Britain are exporting medical goods to Iran under a special trade mechanism created after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran’s official coronavirus death toll reached 3,036 on Wednesday, with 47,593 admitted cases of infection. The Iranian Health Ministry said 138 deaths and 2,987 new cases were recorded in the previous 24 hours.

As with other authoritarian regimes like China and Syria, few outside observers believe Tehran’s official numbers are accurate, but even if they were, Iran would have one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks outside of China. The Iranian resistance group POI/MEK claimed on Tuesday that the true death toll from the epidemic in Iran is over 14,700 — over five times the official count from the regime. Reports from Iranian hospitals and provincial officials were employed to tabulate the POI/MEK figure.

The resistance also claimed the Iranian government was aware of the coronavirus epidemic two weeks before it officially acknowledged any local infections but “covered it up for its own political interests.”

As the Wall Street Journal noted on Tuesday, the theocratic wing of the Iranian government and its terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have lied even more extravagantly than Rouhani’s administration. The theocrats also took steps to keep organizations like Doctors Without Borders out of Iran’s hot zones, using the excuse that foreign doctors are trying to infect Iranians with poisons and diseases at the behest of the evil United States. 

One IRGC propaganda organ pushed a conspiracy theory that Doctors Without Borders only wanted to work with Iranian patients so it could design an even more deadly virus that would only infect Iranians. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week suggested the existing coronavirus was a bio-weapon “specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians” and foreign doctors are only trying to work in Iran so they can measure the effectiveness of the germ warfare attack.

In addition to staging theatrical “biological defense drills” for propaganda purposes, the IRGC made a great show over the weekend of offering to send help to the United States because it has so thoroughly defeated the coronavirus in Iran.

“We are absolutely not in a position to send medical equipment and supplies to any other country,” the Health Ministry said in response to the IRGC’s boasts.

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