Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) hosted a funeral attracting thousands for Hossein Assadollahi, a senior terrorist leader and veteran of the Iran-Iraq war.
Breitbart (h/t Sara S) Photos and video of the ceremony – which attracted notably minimal attention in Iranian state media outlets like PressTV, the Fars News Agency, and others – show mourners tightly packed in public spaces, a prime location to infect a large number of people with a contagious disease.
The funeral flooded the streets of Vardavard, near Tehran, and featured a procession largely composed of IRGC terrorists and civilians likely forced out of their homes to participate. It appeared in photos similar in tone to the recent funeral of IRGC Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani, eliminated from the battlefield by a U.S. airstrike in January. Iranian officials noted that Soleimani and Assadollahi were comrades in arms.
Iran’s healthcare system has, by all measures, been overwhelmed for months. While Iran claims only 24,811 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country and nearly 2,000 deaths, reports citing whistleblowers and dissidents in the country have published evidence suggesting the death toll is much higher.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the largest Iranian dissident group, announced on Tuesday that it had documented over 10,500 deaths at the hands of the virus in Iran, citing sources within the country.
The Iranian regime has largely responded to the outbreak by empowering the IRGC, a U.S.-designated terrorist group and not a medical organization, to lead the nation’s coronavirus response. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has claimed the Chinese virus is a biological weapon, implying the United States deliberately spread it in Iran.
Radio Farda, the Persian outlet affiliated with Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), noted that several Iranian media outlets faintly expressed disapproval of the funeral, but not in any way that would compromise their ability to continue publishing, as the authoritarian Islamic regime censors all disapproval.
The U.S. State Department accused the Iranian regime on Monday of being irresponsible with handling the virus and allowing it to spread in the Middle East, a volatile region with weak healthcare systems, millions of displaced people, and constantly battling rival violent groups.