Iran's Exiled Prince Asks WHO To Investigate 'Deliberate' Covid Fiasco
Iran’s exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi has written to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) asking for an investigation of the Islamic Republic government for "deliberately" mishandling the Covid-19 pandemic, causing unnecessary deaths and suffering.
The letter published on Saturday and addressed to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO says that the alarming rise in infections and deaths in Iran “is not the result of a government’s struggle to cope with the disease. Rather, it is deliberate mismanagement, lies, and criminality that is causing a massacre on the scale of a crime against humanity.”
Public criticism of the Islamic Republic top officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have intensified in recent days as the pandemic has reached an alarming ferocity, not seen since the first cases were acknowledged in February 2020. Videos have emerged on social media showing Iranians assailing Khamenei and even calling for revenge for his role in preventing early vaccination of the population.
Khamenei banned the purchase of American and British vaccines in a speech in January, basing his argument on a conspiracy theory that the United States and the United Kingdom could not be trusted with something that would be injected into the population.
Reza Pahlavi raises this point in his letter, in addition to saying that Tehran rejected international assistance, such as humanitarian aid by Doctors Without Borders. Iran sent back a team of the non-governmental organization, which arrived in March 2020 to assist with equipment and doctors.
The letter also highlights recent reports from Iran, including government-controlled media that some of the Covid treatment medicines imported with state-subsidized hard currency is being sold on the black market to desperate people at “astronomical” prices.
“The conduct of the Islamic Republic during this pandemic indicates more than mismanagement or incompetence, indeed it indicates a murderous campaign against the Iranian people. The country’s hospitals are quite literally overflowing with corpses,” Pahlavi said in his letter.
The exiled prince asks WHO to send Covid vaccines “directly to the people”, but expresses doubt if the government would ever allow that.
But he also asks WHO “to investigate this ongoing crime against the Iranian people, at once. My team stands ready to assist you, your colleagues, the WHO and any relevant authorities in connecting you with the appropriate Iranian experts who can further attest to this unspeakable massacre.”
Reza Pahlavi, heir to the last king of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, is a prominent opposition leader, with notable backing by anti-government protesters in Iran. Although he insists that he does not pursue the restoration of the monarchy, many people in Iran remember with fondness the pre-revolutionary period when there were social freedoms and economic progress, despite political restrictions that partly caused the 1979 revolution.