A video widely shared by Iranian activists appears to have caught out the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, in a blatant lie about regime aid for survivors of last week’s devastating earthquake which killed over 500 people.
In the video footage, the IRGC chief claims that he’s talking with a senior regime official who’s offering humanitarian assistance to earthquake survivors in the devastated area in the Kurdish region of northern Iran; as the video clearly shows, however, Maj. Gen. Jafari has not pressed the green ‘call’ button necessary to connect any call, meaning that he is simply pretending to have a conversation, with nobody else on the other end.
The damning video footage has spread rapidly amongst activists on WhatsApp since being uploaded online, with activists and members of the public expressing anger and disgust at the IRGC head’s false claims to be discussing aid provision. Many assert that Jafari is clearly attempting to cover up the regime’s failure to launch adequate relief operations to help the earthquake victims, with this anger increased by the regime’s lavish praise for the IRGC’ supposed assistance and humanitarian aid for survivors of the horrendous natural disaster, which has left tens of thousands homeless in plummeting winter temperatures.
The regime has also come under sharp criticism for deploying most of the IRGC forces outside Iran to fight in its various wars across the Middle East while leaving the Iranian people increasingly impoverished.
The complaints and criticisms over the regime’s poor response to last week’s earthquake continue to escalate, with a number of MPs from Iran’s parliament lambasting the “very weak” relief operations, especially after the country’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, insisted that the government could “effectively manage [the] crisis.”
Critics assert that Zarif’s statement was propaganda directed at a foreign audience and does not reflect the desperate reality in the earthquake-stricken areas.
Also on the subject of last week’s earthquake, Wahid Haqqanian, the Deputy Chief Executive of the House of the Guide Ali Khamenei, sharply attacked critics of the state-owned ‘Mehr Housing Foundation’, which was responsible for building many of the homes destroyed in the earthquake, which collapsed on top of their inhabitants, killing many instantly, despite the foundation’s claims that the homes had been constructed to withstand earthquakes, which are not unusual in the region.
Some of the destroyed Mehr Housing Foundation homes had been built as part of a low-cost housing project launched by former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2011.
Railing against critics of the housing foundation’s failures, Haqqanian told a gathering of Basiji security personnel on Saturday, “May God curse the head of the republic, Eshaq Jahangiri [First Vice President to Rouhani], where he was the first to incite against “Mehr Housing Foundation.”