A team of doctors belonging to the Doctors Without Borders humanitarian organization were turned away from Iran, despite a rising death toll from COVID-19 in that country.
Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to Iran’s health minister, tweeted his thanks Monday to the international medical organization, known by its French acronym MSF, but noted the country does “not have a need for hospital beds set up by foreign forces,” the Saudi Al-Arabiya network reported.
If only they were Muslim…
“Foreign forces” MSF may be, but they are experts at working in pandemic conditions. The doctors wanted to set up a 50-bed inflatable hospital to treat the critically ill, but when it comes to saving lives, Iran appears to be more worried about “foreign” influences than the life and death of its citizens.
On Monday the Geneva-headquartered MSF said in a statement it was in the process of setting up a 50-bed inflatable treatment unit staffed by nine emergency workers in Isfahan, the second-worst-hit province in Iran. The equipment was airlifted from France and was supposed to have been installed on the grounds of the Amin Hospital in Isfahan.
“We hope our assistance will relieve at least some of the pressure on the local health system,” Julie Reversé, MSF’s representative in Iran, said in the statement. “We heard the Iranian authorities’ calls for more support to help them cope with the outbreak and, as a medical organization already present in the country, we offered to help with what we believe can provide the most value: assisting with treating the most severe cases.”
As of this morning, there were 1812 deaths from the virus and more than 23,000 infected. Many international observers believe those numbers are much higher and that Iran doesn’t want any observers to contradict the official narrative.
Iran will apparently accept financial aid from the EU, but not much else.
Yet on Tuesday, the Tehran leadership rejected the help while repeating a whirlwind of conspiracies that the France-based NGO was part of a broader spy network and scheming to expel aid from the crippled country.
For now, the charity is stating only that the aid is “on hold” and that they are awaiting “next steps.”
How many Iranians will die because the leadership is more worried about foreign influences than they are the lives of their citizens?