Iranian Academics Blame Regime For COVID-19 ‘Disaster’

first_imgBy ShareAmerica April 16, 2020 Iranian academics are faulting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for stifling information on COVID-19 and declining foreign aid, allowing the country’s outbreak to grow into “a national disaster.”In a March 29 letter, reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), 100 academics call Khamenei “the Number 1 culprit” for COVID-19 sweeping the nation unchecked. Now one Iranian is infected every minute, while one dies every 10 minutes, the critics say, citing senior staff in Iran’s Department of Health.“Everyone now knows that the initial obfuscation by the regime and its security forces robbed the Iranian people of their chance to curtail this dangerous virus,” the letter says. “The lives of Iranian citizens were sacrificed, irresponsibly and inhumanely, in service of the regime’s political interests.”The academics — all of whom live outside of Iran — outline actions they say show Khamenei repeatedly putting himself and his cronies over the health and safety of everyday Iranians.Here are the academics’ main criticisms:Lies and neglect. The regime has downplayed the number of deaths from COVID-19, the critics say, citing World Health Organization estimates. The regime also continued Mahan Air flights to China in February, defying a Cabinet decision to ban flights to China announced January 31. Khamenei has even suggested the disease outbreak resulted from a biological attack.Refusing international aid. Iran’s leaders on March 24 kicked out Medecins Sans Frontieres, also called Doctors Without Borders, rejecting plans for a 50-bed treatment unit for COVID-19 patients in the hard-hit city of Isfahan.U.S. officials say the regime also has declined their offers of aid to fight the coronavirus.Fueling violence abroad. Iran’s leaders have pulled billions from the country’s National Development Fund to support the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), rather than using the fund to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.A U.S.-designated terrorist group, the IRGC-QF causes sectarian violence in the Middle East.Cronies over country. Iran’s regime responded quickly against its own citizens, brutally cracking down on November protests against rising fuel prices and regime dysfunction. Yet when facing a public health crisis that is killing everyday Iranians, the regime has lied and failed to act.The academics also fault the regime for failing to quarantine Qom, the epicenter of Iran’s outbreak, because of the city’s connection to Chinese government development projects, according to MEMRI.“Khamenei is the main culprit in the making of the current crisis into a national disaster,” the letter says.last_img read more

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Onyango’s Sundowns are African champions

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Onyango first Ugandan to win the CAF Champions League medalThe first scoring chance for the hosts came after 12 minutes when Nigerian Ohawuchi burst through and beat goalkeeper Dennis Onyango, but the ball trickled wide.Ugandan Onyango, a 2016 Africa-based Footballer of the Year finalist, needed medical attention three times before being replaced by Wayne Sandilands on 28 minutes.Striker Basem Morsy had been headlined as the Zamalek dangerman, but recent signing Ohawuchi was posing a bigger threat.A wild but crucial clearance from Soumahoro foiled another attempt by the Nigerian to break the deadlock before Sundowns began to threaten going forward.The first serious chance for the South Africans came on 35 minutes when awarded a free-kick just outside the box, but captain Hlompho Kekana struck the ball into the wall.Zamalek goalkeeper Mahmoud Abdel Rahim did well to push away a goal-bound shot from Percy Tau and a looping Billiat shot struck the top of the crossbar before flying wide.The injuries to Onyango meant eight minutes of first-half stoppage time during which Liberian Anthony Laffor troubled Zamalek twice with a shot and a header.Half-time arrived with the second leg goalless and Sundowns retaining the three-goal advantage they established in Pretoria last weekend.Zamalek started the second half as they did the first, controlling possession and territory but rarely looking like cracking open Sundowns’ defence.After 64 minutes the Egyptian outfit scored and it was no surprise that the goal came from livewire Ohawuchi.Receiving possession well outside the box, he beat one man and unleashed a low, long-range drive that flew into the corner of the net off the left hand of Sandilands. Mamelodi Sundowns’ players celebrate with the trophy after winning the CAF Champions League football competition following the final match against Egypt’s Zamalek on October 23, 2016 at the Borg el-Arab Stadium near Alexandria. AFP PHOTOFairytale African triumph for Sundowns, Onyango first Ugandan continental trophy winnerAlexandria, Egypt | AFP |Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa won a fairytale first CAF Champions League title on Sunday despite a 1-0 second-leg loss to Zamalek of Egypt in Alexandria.A Stanley Ohawuchi goal on 64 minutes was not enough for the home team as they trailed by three goals from the first leg in Pretoria last weekend and lost 3-1 on aggregate.It was a remarkable triumph because the South Africans were eliminated in the final qualifying round in April only to be reinstated when their Democratic Republic of Congo opponents were disqualified.Success for Sundowns made them $1.5 million (1.38 million euros) richer and secured a place at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan set for December.“It was an amazing journey of ups and downs and now we are the champions of Africa,” said Sundowns’ Zimbabwe striker Khama Billiat.“We look forward to Japan and facing the best clubs in the game. It is going to be an absolute pleasure.”Winger Keagan Dolly said: “We knew it was going to be difficult because Zamalek are a great team with some outstanding individuals.“Some people will say we were lucky to get a second chance after being eliminated, but I believe we deserve to be African champions.”Goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy and captain and midfielder “Shikabala” were among those dropped as Zamalek coach Moamen Soliman made four changes from the side that started the first leg.Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane had to make one enforced alteration with huge Ivorian centre-back Bangaly Soumahoro coming in for suspended Wayne Arendse.Although facing a mammoth task, history offered a hope to Zamalek with two of three previous Champions League finalists in a similar predicament emerging as overall winners.An estimated 60,000 predominantly Zamalek supporters were inside the 86,000-capacity Borg El Arab Stadium on the outskirts of Alexandria as the match kicked off.There are few more nerve-inducing factors in African football than a large Egyptian crowd roaring on their team, but Sundowns calmly survived early pressure.last_img read more

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