• 2020-04-07

    Mohsen Rezaee, secretary of the Iranian regime's Expediency Council whose members are appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and whose role it is to advise him, published an article on April 2, 2020 via the Fars news agency. In the article, Rezaee, who is also a former commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), discussed the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic for the world. He stated that the pandemic had exposed the malady infecting humankind – the sick world order based, according to him, on the liberal, capitalist West and on the American values of freedom and democracy. He said that in the wake of the pandemic, the Western order will make way for a new world order whose center of gravity will be Asia. Revolutionary Iran, he added, will play a unique role in leading the new world, and to this end it must advance the values of the Islamic revolution in order to cure all humanity's ills. ...

  • 2020-04-07

    Nonetheless, no systemic economic collapse is evident at this stage, and there are no signs of a lack of essential goods or a loss by government authorities of the ability to ensure regular supply of essential goods and services such as electricity, water, and gas. It appears that production abilities in most areas of agriculture and industry have been maintained in spite of the ongoing crisis. Furthermore the Iranian regime has already proven its ability to overcome grave crises, including years of significant economic sanctions, in part in light of the centralization of the Iranian economy, which is characterized by extensive involvement by government institutions and by the Revolutionary Guards. This centralization improves the regime's ability to adjust the economy to the new conditions created by the crisis. The deeper the crisis becomes, the more the Iranian authorities will need to reassess the situation and reorder national priorities. Although it is unlikely that its strategic aims will change, Tehran will probably be hard-pressed to finance some of its military activity in the regional arena. Iran has already been compelled by the renewal of American sanctions two years ago to reduce its support for particular organizations in the Arab world, including Hezbollah, which is facing severe economic distress. The damage done to Iran is likely to further restrict its abilities to assist its proxies in the region.

  • 2020-03-29

    As the proportion of patients infected with COVID-19 continues to rise in Iran, Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran is facilitating access to COVID-19 convalescent plasma for use in patients with COVID-19 infections. This is while a number of the medical staff in the hospital are among the plasma donors who have been infected and have recovered recently. 

  • 2020-03-27

    On February 19, the health ministry announced that two elderly people in Qom had died from the coronavirus. On February 23, Iran’s health minister Saeed Namaki blamed an Iranian merchant from Qom who had frequently traveled between Iran and China. On March 25, Alireza Raeesi, Iran's deputy health minister, claimed that COVID-19 was brought to Iran by Chinese nationals who studied and worked in Qom. Many of them studied at Al Mostafa University, a state-funded seminary with many international students. Raeesi added that Iranian students returning to Gilan from Wuhan may have created a second epicenter, which spread independently from the outbreak in Qom.

  • 2020-03-27

    Beijing has steadily become Tehran’s economic ventilator, diplomatic prop, and military enabler, and the Iranians need this backstop now more than ever. When the coronavirus spun out of control in Wuhan this January, Iran ignored the example of many other countries and continued to maintain direct flights and open borders with China. Even after President Hassan Rouhani’s government suspended all such flights on January 31, Mahan Air—a company affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—kept flying between Tehran and four first-tier Chinese cities, leading many to allege that the airline was instrumental in introducing or at least exacerbating Iran’s raging epidemic.

  • 2020-03-16

    With nearly 14,000 confirmed cases and more than 700 deaths, Iran has been one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19. The country’s medical response to the crisis has been complicated by crippling US sanctions, which have led to shortages of basic medical equipment, including protective facemasks. Iran’s health authorities have screened over 10 million people for symptoms of the new coronavirus over a four-day period, Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi has revealed. “6.5 million individuals were screened at health centres, and 3.7 million others via the online platform,” Raeisi said in an address, his remarks quoted by PressTV.

  • 2020-03-15

    The Iranian ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hamid Baeidinejad, welcomed a new approach by London toward the possible release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, speaking in an interview with Iranian Etemad newspaper. [...] Besides, Baeidinejad revealed that authorities of Iran and the UK are in talks regarding a multibillion debt owed by the United Kingdom to the Islamic republic, and looking at novel ways to get the debt paid. The United Kingdom owes Iran roughly 400 billion pounds ($490 mln) for Chieftain tanks, which it sold to Tehran in the last century but never delivered.

  • 2020-03-12

    Coronavirus: Iran requests $5bn IMF loan to fight disease, as cases reach 10,075

    Tehran confirms that it has recorded 1,075 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours across Iran

    By MEE and agencies

    March 12, 2020 

  • 2020-03-12

    „Through its draconian measures, the US is trying to bring Iran’s aviation activities to a halt by denying its aviation sector navigation equipment and software, Zarif said. Most recently, American companies have also been stonewalling Iran’s access to the information technology tools that would help it confront the virus, he noted. Zarif also released a list of medical equipment that Iran urgently needs in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak, saying that although “Iranian care personnel are courageously battling #COVID19 on frontlines, their efforts are stymied by vast shortages caused by restrictions on our people's access to medicine/equipment” 

  • 2020-03-09

    Since the 1980s, Iran has forged a network of political alliances across the Middle East that now give it more influence than its Gulf rivals and the United States. Tehran has exploited local grievances, sectarian identity, and conflicts to create or foster political parties, most visibly in Lebanon, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories but also smaller underground movements in Bahrain and Kuwait.

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