Iranian regime’s first Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, once remarked that if he were faced with a situation that required either giving up on the country’s ruling system or abandoning Islamic principles, he would choose the latter. It was a remarkable acknowledgment of this regime’s priorities, and with this new agreement with China, once again, that priority is demonstrated.
If Khamenei is willing to give up the regime’s core identity as an “Islamic Republic,” then what wouldn’t he be willing to give up in order to tighten his grip on power? Over four decades, every major undertaking by the regime and its officials has been self-serving and being absolutely at direct odds with the public good.
This has arguably grown all the more obvious in recent years, during which steep economic downturns and public unrest put the system in an extremely precarious position even before the Iranian people came under siege from the coronavirus pandemic. That public health crisis has been uniquely mismanaged in Iran, and much of the international community remains ignorant of the true extent of that mismanagement. The Iranian Health Ministry estimates that roughly 60,000 citizens have died of Covid-19 in the nation of 83 million people, but independent assessments suggest that the real figure is around four times higher.
In fact, while the severity of the crisis was beginning to be recognized in every corner of the globe, Iranian officials were encouraging and even compelling government employees and ordinary citizens to take part in public celebrations of the regime’s 40th anniversary. Strong attendance at those events was vital to state propaganda, in part because they were taking place in the shadow of at least three nationwide uprisings. The largest of those, in November 2019, was brutally suppressed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which opened fire on crowds of protesters, killing approximately 1,500.
Read the complete article at: NCR-Iran