The Iranian regime is still sacrificing its people, making them bear the brunt of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak losses, only to preserve its own interests and schemes.

Ahmad Marvi chief custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, the administrative organization which manages the Imam Reza shrine and various institutions which belong to the organization, said on April 17 that a guide has been prepared to reopen the country’s religious shrines.

Iran’s death toll from the new virus rose on April 18 to reach 5,031, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour said on state TV.

The total number of people diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease caused by the new virus reached 80,868, as the country recorded 1,374 new cases on the same date, the spokesman said.

For his part, President Hassan Rouhani called on the Minister of Health to “form a team” to consider the possibility of establishing religious programs and establishing worship during the month of Ramadan in the provinces that enjoy a “stable state”, as he put it.

While some measures have been taken to protect visitors – such as disinfecting holy shrines – there hasn’t been an outright closure of the sites for a long time.

Some religious clerics believe the shrines, including the Masumeh shrine in Qom, have divine powers that can cure diseases.

Millions of people visit the shrines every year, spending many hours praying near them, or kissing and touching them.

After the outbreak of the virus in Iran, clerics and religious authorities strongly opposed the temporary closure of sites, including shrines, and did not agree to close them until late.

Iran’s shrines draw Shiites from all over the Mideast for pilgrimages, likely contributing to the spread of the virus across the region.

On March 3, 2020, some Iranian activists announced in a series of tweets that Iran’s failure to cancel religious sites caused a further outbreak of the pandemic.

The activists explained that these shrines are one of the forms of occupation and the Persian presence on the ground, and the Iranian regime has exploited the Shiite religious shrines to achieve its political and economic goals.

Vali Taymuri, Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage’s deputy in charge of tourism, has said that the cotronavirus epidemic will cost $200 million to the country’s tourism industry in three months.

Iran had 7.8 million tourists from March 21, 2018 to March 20, 2019 with 93 percent from regional countries, the majority coming from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the airlines association told ILNA the coronavirus crisis will cost $200 million in damages to Iran’s airline industry until early April.

Source » theportal-center