Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner dusts off his crystal ball, and tells us that:
Iran’s theocratic regime could crumble under the pressure of the coronavirus outbreak that has spread through elite ranks and the broader population alike, according to the European Union’s top diplomat.
“…countries like Venezuela or Iran may well collapse without our support,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell wrote in a recent bulletin to European colleagues. “This means we should ensure they have access to IMF assistance. And with Iran, we need to make sure that legitimate humanitarian trade can proceed despite US sanctions.”
It’s hard to conceive of the mechanism by which Venezuela and/or Iran would “crumble,” but we get Borrell’s point. Both countries are in terrible shape, and the whole situation could well get out of control.
Some commentators read this as a warning. They see Borrell warning of the collapse of countries like Iran and Venezuela unless his European colleagues provide emergency aid. So the Borrells of Europe and the United States are calling for their compatriots in the West to rescue Khamenei and Maduro.
It’s a very dangerous game. The Iranian regime doesn’t give a hoot about starving citizens; whatever money it gets its hands on goes for waging war against us and our friends and allies, notably Israel.
But the regime does seem to care about prisoners. In recent days there have been several prison breakouts — five of them, according to dissident reports — in widely separate locations. Why all of a sudden are Iranian jails so flimsy? Most theories reject the fanciful hypothesis that the regime has gone soft on those incarcerated; most of the explanations have to do with the virus epidemic. The conditions for the prisoners are atrocious, and they know that at any moment their execution may be ordered. Indeed, that would be the “normal” method of dealing with unrest in the prisons. Instead, the disgruntled prisoners are being permitted to “escape” from bondage. And the regime explains it as a response to the virus pandemic, according to the Saudis:
DUBAI — Over 80 prisoners escaped from a prison in Iran’s Kurdistan province on Friday following riots amid growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the prison, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Prisoners rioted in a prison in the city of Saqqez Friday evening and more than 80 of them were able to escape, Fars reported.
While Fars did not say what instigated the riots, they are believed to have been due to growing concerns among inmates about the spread of coronavirus in the prison.
Several other prisons in Iran have witnessed riots in the past few days due to fears of the spread of the virus in prisons.
Iran temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
“Temporarily freed” indeed. The security forces could have shot the escaping inmates, but didn’t. So they wanted escaping prisoners — highly likely to be infected with the virus — to spread the disease. Not that the regime was prepared to combat it. So it was more convenient to have sick prisoners make things worse for the people. That way, the regime saves the expense of formal executions and kills off even more citizens.
Iran’s behavior was part of a pattern from our enemies. Both China and Russia accused the United States of launching the global pandemic, and each sold anti-viral devices to would-be friends in the west. The devices had a high proportion of failures. Some 80% of coronavirus rapid tests China donated to the Czech Republic, for example, as part of the communist country’s global goodwill effort are faulty, according to the Czech government.
The Trump Administration is unusually outspoken against the disinformation campaign from China, Russia and Iran. Reporting on the international battle of words, Radio Farda concentrated on Chinese lies, knowing that Iran was following the same model:
U.S. government officials and spokespersons are becoming more vocal in addressing an aggressive disinformation push by the Chinese communist regime—in some cases responding directly to Beijing officials and debunking their propaganda in real time.
Social media platforms such as Twitter are major tools being utilized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as part of its global campaign to manipulate the narrative surrounding the pandemic. A considerable number of Chinese diplomats are actively pushing state-sanctioned narratives on these platforms and U.S. officials are ramping up their response.
Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokesperson, has called out Beijing’s disinformation and responded directly to CCP officials. Federal agencies in the United States, meanwhile, are also ramping up efforts on this front by setting up new websites that separate fact from fiction.
It really is a new world war. Let’s hope the enemy regimes fall apart.