world battles the coronavirus, with the number of affected people increasing
every single day, the major brunt of the crisis will be borne by third world
states that are unequipped to deal with what has been now termed as a pandemic.
crisis has also unleashed racism as people, including the president of the US,
keep calling it the ‘China Virus’ or ‘Wuhan Virus’. We have also seen how
Chinese people have been ridiculed in Western countries. This also reveals how
a system that runs on exploitation and is only concerned about profits is least
capable to take care of the masses in the face of such a pandemic.
also been seeing how Iran, a third world country, is being cornered by the
international media, imperialist powers and white-man psychology as it fights
using its meager resources a virus that has so far caused around more than a
hatred and racism for a nation became quite visible when the New York Times,
the purported vanguard of media freedom worldwide, ran a piece on its pages
that was titled as: ‘Recipe for a Massive Viral Outbreak’: Iran Emerges as a
Worldwide Threat’. So much sympathy for ordinary Iranians whose lives are as
precious as people from the first world or say the United States!
stop there nor did anyone try to challenge such anti-Iran narrative. We saw it
alleged that Iran had kept ignoring or suppressing the news about the
coronavirus spreading in the country because of elections. A few days later,
Iranians were ridiculed when their deputy health minister contracted the virus.
But the world, mainly the Western media, stayed silent and did not make similar
remarks when the UK’s health minister tested positive for the virus while
another European country’s member of parliament also contracted it.
media was abuzz with how uncivilized Iranians were when a video showing an
alleged believer licking the grill of a religious tomb in Qom went viral. But
everyone remained somewhat silent when Iranian authorities confirmed that the
man in question along with another who was found to be doing the same were
arrested and given two years in jail for trying to play with people’s lives.
The religious sites and tombs are now closed, to the surprise of the Western
world and their propaganda machine that must have been thinking that only they
are the chosen civilized nation on earth.
come to one major aspect which has been purposefully ignored by the media and
opinion makers. The Iranian nation is fighting two evils at a time today: the
novel coronavirus and the US sanctions that have wrought havoc with their
economy and health system.
seems to care about ordinary Iranians because perhaps they have to pay for the
alleged crimes of their regime. No one dares question how the United States
could not end the sanctions against Iran, given the global pandemic it faces.
With every passing hour, Iranians are dying as the authorities try their best
to cope with the deteriorating situation. However, the West doesn’t bat an eye
and rather its papers come up with pieces usually titled as ‘Will Iran’s Regime
Survive Coronavirus? (this was published in the US magazine ‘National Review’).
spokespersons of the empire reiterate that the sanctions do not affect
humanitarian aid or trade of necessary life-saving medicines, the truth is that
the US even persecutes or threatens those companies which have sent such goods
to Iran. This was revealed by a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published well
before the pandemic in October, 2019.
report says, “On February 14, 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CBS
News: ‘Things are much worse for the Iranian people [with the US sanctions],
and we are convinced that will lead the Iranian people to rise up and change
the behavior of the regime.’”
seems the US and its allies want more and more deaths in Iran now because of
the virus – to an extent that Iranians rise up against the regime. The HRW also
found out that “US economic sanctions on Iran, despite the humanitarian
exemptions, are causing unnecessary suffering to Iranian citizens afflicted
with a range of diseases and medical conditions. Some of the worst affected are
Iranians who have rare diseases and/or conditions that require specialized
treatment and are unable to acquire previously available medicines or
supplies”. Remember that this report is from last year and today Iran has to
fight the novel virus with all of these sanctions.
forget that the US on March 17 imposed fresh sanctions on Iran to even further
tighten the economic pressure. Their plan remains the same despite the
deepening of the current health crisis.
eleven hundred Iranians have died of the coronavirus while over 28,000 are
still in hospitals. Iranians – along with other nations of the world – will
hopefully overcome this global crisis in coming months. But the Iranians will
remember for centuries to come the silence and indifference they felt in these
Hasan is a journalist covering human and labour rights.
Headline: Sanctions, the virus and Iran
Source: The News, Pakistan