Alex Nouri is traveling to his native Iran after being away for a long time. He is sharing his observations about life in Teheran during the outbreak of the new coronavirus. Part one. Click here to read part two.
By Alex Nouri
Iran has been hit hard with the new coronavirus since early February. The government did not stop frequent flights from China, did not create quarantine zones, and did not inform the public until the day after the country-wide senate election held on February 21, 2020, despite clear warnings from a few countries on the lethality of the virus.
President Donald Trump offered Iran assistance, but Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei rejected the offer, calling it “disgraceful and arrogant” in light of the draconian sanctions imposed against Iran, which prohibit the purchase of medical equipment and supplies to fight the virus.
Against that background, Iran has managed to do what the U.S. has not been able to accomplish, which is managing the pandemic fairly well and imposing strict measures on a few fronts. Since I am now in Tehran and very close to the devastation of the new coronavirus, I would like to share a few observations and compare them to those in the U.S.
There is absolutely no shortage of food. None whatsoever. The shelves are fully stocked on all small and large grocery stores and supermarkets in Tehran. People are not fighting over anything and we are not worried about any food scarcity.
Considering Iran has been the subject of nearly 40 years of sanctions by the U.S. and a few other European countries–in some of those years, my observation attests to a monumental achievement by a government some other countries have tried to weaken and overthrow.
Iran has been able to create and maintain a supply chain management of food to its citizens, a system that is commendable and should be the envy of any administration, particularly in countries where people have been pulling a knife on each other and engaging in fights over toilet paper, among other things.
Iran’s leadership has obviously learned to manage its affairs with much independence from the west, a point missed by most Americans including myself prior to this recent visit to Iran.
Article by Alex Nouri, CPP, Author. Alex Nouri could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org