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Iranian conspiracy theories centering coronavirus

Oped

Iranian conspiracy theories centering coronavirus

Hugh Fitzgerald

Here are some of the reasons for the coronavirus outbreak now provided by the semi-demented:

The coronavirus was caused by Allah to punish China for mistreating the Uighurs.

The coronavirus was caused by Allah to punish insufficiently devout Muslims.

The coronavirus was caused by Allah to punish America for mistreating Muslims.

The coronavirus was caused by America to destroy Iranians.

The coronavirus was caused by America to depopulate the world.

The coronavirus was caused by American pharmaceutical companies, which already had a vaccine ready which they intend to sell once the disease has claimed a sufficient number of victims.

The coronavirus was caused by Israel to destroy all Muslims.

The coronavirus was cause by Israel to destroy Iran.

The coronavirus was caused by Israeli pharmaceutical companies, which already had a vaccine ready which they intend to sell once the disease has claimed a sufficient number of victims.

Those are among the most popular explanations for the coronavirus outbreak, each more absurd than the next.

Another example of that conspiracy theorizing, posted at Memri.org, is reposted below.

The Executive Summary, followed by a transcript, is here:

On April 7, 2020, Ofogh TV (Iran) aired a discussion about coronavirus on the Nader Talebzadeh Show, which is hosted by Iranian filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh. Muslim-American academic and conspiracy theorist Dr. Kevin Barrett, who sat next to a picture of deceased IRGC Quds Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani, said that the coronavirus may have been unleashed by the United States as an act of biological warfare targeting China and Iran. For more about Dr. Kevin Barret, a convert to Islam, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 7474 and No. 4220. Later in the show, Iranian lecturer Dr. Ali Karami said that pandemics are a way of controlling the world population, which he said is consistent with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s beliefs about foreign policy. He also said that there are U.S. Patents for the coronavirus. In addition, Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, said that if the coronavirus is really an act of biological warfare, Iran must strengthen itself.

Nader Talebzadeh: “[Dr. Barrett] has a picture of the martyr [Qasem] Soleimani. He put it there deliberately. I didn’t tell him to put it there, he did it himself.

Dr. Kevin Barrett is an American convert to Islam, a bizarre figure who is a great admirer of Minister Louis Farrakhan, and the author of a book on who was really behind 9/11 (say, he’s got a point — why didn’t any Jews go to work in the Twin Towers that day?). Naturally he is a great admirer, too, of the late and widely unlamented Qassem Soleimani.

“It’s interesting that you put the image of the martyr Soleimani, the Iranian martyr. All these things happened after that huge funeral, and also the American media and the American president…. Both parties claim that he is the biggest terrorist and the biggest force of evil, whereas we know who he was and what he did against ISIS. And it all started after that. Do you have any interpretation about this [cataclysm], as we sat in the Quranic language, that has happened in the realm of corona….Do you have an interpretation about that?”

Dr. Kevin Barrett: “Yes, I suspect that the same leaders who ordered the murder of General Soleimani also may have unleashed the coronavirus as an act of biological warfare, primarily against China and Iran.

[…]

The people around Trump are all afraid of a country like China becoming stronger. To stop China, they must stop its economy from getting stronger. To do that they have to cripple the entire world economy.”

According to Kevin Barrett, America “unleashed” the coronavirus, in order to destroy China and Iran. But in that case, why are so many of America’s allies – the U.K., France, Italy, Israel – also suffering terribly from the disease? Why has America endured more cases of coronavirus, and more deaths from the virus, than any other country? The Americans have had more cases than China and Iran put together, and more deaths, too, if the Chinese and Iranian figures are to be believed.

On what grounds does Kevin Barrett claim that America is attempting to “cripple the world economy” in order to “stop [the Chinese] economy from getting stronger”? Does that make sense – to destroy the American, and world, economy, in order to prevent China from “becoming stronger”? If America had wanted to target China, it could have imposed crippling tariffs on all Chinese goods and persuaded the rest of the West to do likewise; that would destroy the Chinese economy, but do less harm to the economies of the West. Why turn to bacteriological warfare, and the use of a virus whose spread and virulence cannot be controlled, as we see from what the coronavirus has done in America? Is it conceivable that American scientists had no idea the coronavirus would not be contained to China and Iran, but swiftly spread worldwide, that there was no known cure, that tens of thousands of Americans would die, and the American economy plummet into a deep recession as a result of the pandemic?

Talebzadeh: “[Dr. Barrett] used to be Christian, and he converted to Islam. He has become a lover of the Prophet Muhammad’s family.”

That means Kevin Barrett can be trusted: he’s an Infidel Who Saw the Light. Others will find him – as you and I do — a bizarre figure.

Dr. Ali Karami: “All the intellectuals in the world know the NSSM-200 document. It has to do with America’s national security. It was written by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. This document was recently declassified, and our friends are welcome to read its full version. In it is Kissinger’s famous statement: ‘We will control governments by means of oil, and we will control nations by means of food.’ What this resulted in is a project called ‘depopulation.’ Look at what Henry Kissinger said. He said that depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy. Epidemics and viruses are among the ways to control the world population. As the American doctor said, healthcare for seniors in the U.S. is very expensive. They are not productive and do not contribute to the economy, but they still incur costs. It is strange that coronavirus kills older people. It is interesting that in hospitals, they are leaving the older people in the hallways to die. This is how people like Trump and Boris Johnson think. Trump called it ‘the Chinese virus,’ and [Johnson] has referred to ‘herd immunity.’ The exact meaning of this term is evolution, meaning that the strong will survive and the weak will die. I will conclude with this: Look at this U.S. Patent. In 2014, they patented the coronavirus. Academics should look at the U.S. Patent registry. In 2014, 2017, and 2018, the coronaviruses were being patented. They are even patenting the virus just like they patented our saffron, and just like they stole our genome.”

The NSSM-200 document discusses, among much else, the problem of overpopulation in the least developed states, and how to persuade people in those states to have fewer children. There is no discussion of the sinister-sounding “depopulation” – which suggests sowing death among those already alive. There is no discussion of epidemics and viruses.

There is. a second charge, that the American government is deliberately killing off its old people because they “are not productive and do not contribute to the economy.” The charge is ridiculous. Where triage is performed in hospitals during this unprecedented pandemic, because of a shortage, say, of ventilators, older people are likely to have other serious underlying conditions that make their survival less likely, and thus they are lower down on the list to receive those ventilators. This has nothing to do with is not only a practice in America, but is followed all over the world – including China and Iran.

Contrary to the claim by Dr. Ali Karami, there is no U.S. patent on the novel coronavirus that is causing the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri: “Let’s say that they create a virus, and it backfires and entangles them.. We aren’t very concerned about this, but if this is really a biological war, we absolutely must strengthen ourselves. If this is really a biological war, we have no choice but to strengthen ourselves. As the Quran says: ‘Prepare against them however you can.’ We must strengthen ourselves and cause the balance of power to favor us.

The coronavirus was not produced in an American laboratory as part of a “biological war” let loose upon the world. There are two theories as to its origin. Both of them attribute its first appearance to Wuhan, China. The explanation deemed most likely is that the virus arose naturally among bats, then made a leap to another animal species, and thence to humans. The other explanation is that the coronavirus had been developed in a laboratory in Wuhan, and accidentally escaped from the laboratory setting to humans in Wuhan. Neither explanation involves the United States.

“The abilities demonstrated by our health apparatus, by our industries, and by our scientific and medical communities have proven that [we] are not lagging behind the international community. They make it unnecessary for us to listen to the WHO’s [World Health Organization] protocols. The WHO is the target of many accusations. As you know, all the organizations that belong to the U.N. have been accused of making big schemes. This includes the World Bank, the IMF [International Military Fund], and the WTO [World Trade Organization.] As you know, these have all been accused of leaving the third world in poverty. The WHO is being accused of creating global pandemics. All the documents about this have already been published. I do not need to show them.”

Iran has not impressed the world with its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The government waited more than a week before letting the country know that the outbreak had begun. It was slow to respond. It did not end the flights from Iran to China and back for many weeks, allowing the disease to spread from those, both Iranian and Chinese, who had been infected in Wuhan. But its greatest dereliction of duty was the decision not to shut down the holy city of Qom, the epicenter of the disease in Iran. Visitors in Qom who had been infected with the virus returned home, spreading the coronavirus to Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Finally, the incessant recourse to crazy conspiracy theories, from the Supreme Leader down, do not inspire confidence among the Iranian people.

The astonishing rant by Ayatollah Mehdi Mirbagheri against a host of international organizations, including the World Bank, the WHO, the IMFI, and the WTO, make no sense. Why would these groups want to mislead the Iranians? Are they instruments of the Great Satan? What are these sinister “big schemes” that “organizations at the U.N. have been accused of making”? Finally, there is the clear suggestion that the evil genius behind the pandemic is the WHO (World Health Organization) itself: “The WHO is being accused of creating global pandemics.” Not “accused wrongly.” Just “accused.” Which “global pandemics” are those that the WHO is accused of creating? Ayatollah Mirbagheri doesn’t say. Instead, he insists that information has now been made public and is readily available: “All the documents about this have already been published. I do not need to show them.” No, of course not. We’ll take your word for it.

In this corner, we have the convert to Islam Kevin Barrett, an admirer of the late Qassem Soleimani, insisting that the United States created the virus to destroy China’s economy by destroying the world’s economy. For all the kevin-barretts in the world, this makes perfect sense. And in this corner, we have Dr. Ali Karami, who claims that the American government is using the coronavirus to “depopulate” the globe. Eminently reasonable. Just one question: how will the U.S. prevent its own “depopulation”? And finally we have Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri, who insists that the World Health Organization is the source of the latest global pandemic. Of course. That makes sense. What better way to underline the importance of WHO than to fan the flames of a global pandemic? I wish I’d been clever enough to think of that.

Meanwhile, in the real and comparatively sane world, the necessary business of social distancing, hand-washing and wearing masks will continue, as we wait for the end of this nightmare disease. . Another reason to welcome the end of the coronavirus pandemic is that its disappearance will also force many conspiracy theorists to shut up, including – in the latest cretinous batch — Dr. Kevin Barrett, Dr. Ali Karami, and Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mr. HS

    May 9, 2020 at 01:12

    This has got to be one of the most poorly written OP-Eds ever. The writing is atrocious. The writer has a very limited knowledge of Covid-19, Coronoviruses and biowarfare capabilities and research.

    Likely a stupid wog was hired by some nameless western propaganda outfit to write a rambling illegible screed in their native language and then used google translate to present in English.

    Fitzie , you’re as Irish as 4 leaf clover, how about STFU and stick to writing mindless copy for whomever you do your free lancing.

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