Dr. Azadeh Sami
Prof. Firouz Daneshgari
Dr. Zohreh Talebi
Dr. Saeid Sajadi’s remarks at OIAC webinar
The recent remarks by Iran Supreme Leader, Ali Khamene, make very clear the true intention of the regime and dispel any myths about sanctions.
— Prof. Firouze Daneshgari
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, January 28, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — On January 26, the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) hosted a virtual event on the COVID-19 crisis in Iran. The event was titled “Iran Regime’s Restriction of COVID-19 Vaccines, a Crime Against Humanity.” A panel of Iranian American scholars, researchers and physicians discussed the humanitarian implications of Iran’s Supreme Leader’s, Ali Khamenei, ban of the internationally approved vaccines from Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna.
Speakers included Dr. Firouz Daneshgari, Dr. Zohreh Talebi, and Dr. Saeid Sajadi. The event was moderated by Dr. Azadeh Sami.
The panelists shed light on the ongoing COVID-19 situation, which has impacted many countries around the world and been exceptionally mismanaged by the clerical regime in Iran. In the early days of the global pandemic, Iran was hit especially hard by the virus as the regime constantly downplayed the severity of the situation and pursued its economic interests as opposed to the public health of its citizens. In recent weeks, as the rest of the world began distribution of vaccines, Khamenei decided to ban vaccines from Western countries, which will have brutal consequences for the innocent Iranians who have been hard hit by the pandemic.
Dr. Talebi shared one of the eye-opening statistics in Iran, where the COVID death toll has exceeded 206,000. Of course, the Iranian regime has constantly underreported cases and fatalities in the country. Iran continues to hold the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East.
Dr. Daneshgari highlighted the actions and behaviors of the Iranian regime that signal its lack of attention to the public health crisis. As the Islamic Republic continues to pour financial resources into its regional meddling and sponsorship of terrorism, Iranian hospitals, doctors, and nurses are left without access to the most basic medical necessities. The panelists agreed—the regime is using the pandemic as a tool to suppress a society yearning for freedom. Dr. Daneshgari called on the international health community, saying “The international community should not allow this regime to play with public health in such way.”
Although the regime in Tehran continues to blame sanctions imposed by the United States and European nations for their public health crisis, the recent remarks by the Supreme Leader make very clear the true intention of the regime and dispel any myths about sanctions. Dr. Daneshgari elaborated on this further. “Regulations allow companies to supply medicine, medical devices, food, and agricultural commodities to Iran and other embargoed countries,” he said, adding “I know this firsthand because I am founder of a healthcare company and chairman of a humanitarian NGO. There is absolutely no legal hinderance for US or non-US persons to send or donate humanitarian goods to Iran without any specific approval.”
Dr. Sajadi added an eloquent point, saying “the Mullahs, themselves, are the main source of sanctions toward the Iranian people. They have sanctioned and denied the people of their every right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. As far as US sanctions, they do not target any access to medicine or medical equipment.”
Dr. Sami emphasized how the Iranian American healthcare practitioners and physicians are united in their call on the international community and World Health Organization to ensure Iran does not politicize the vaccination for the people of Iran. She further urged the White House, United Kingdom, European Union, and United Nations to condemn Khamenei’s remarks because the barring of COVID-19 vaccines is with criminal intent and will lead to another crime against humanity in Iran.
Bellow are Dr, Sami’s opening remarks and excepts from the experts’ remarks:
Dr. Azadeh Sami: Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to OIAC first webinar of 2021. My name is Azadeh Sami, I am practicing pediatrician in Washington DC area, public health researcher focusing on Iran and co-founder of OIAC’s Young Professionals. I have the privilege of moderating a very distinguished panel of Iranian American scholars, researchers and physicians. Our event today is being livestreamed via OIAC twitter and Youtube channel. I know may are following our event online as our webinar has reached its capacity. Let me say welcome to all of the attendees and media who have joined us today through this webinar or livestream. Please send us your questions in writing and as time permits, we will get to your questions at the end.
Our session today is focused on the recent remarks by Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khameinie, who on January 8th announced that his regime will ban the import of any COVID-19 vaccines made in the United States, United Kingdom, or even France. Our expert panel today will examine the implications of Khamenei’s ban of internationally approved vaccine and what it means to the people of Iran. We, the Organization of Iranian Americans (OIAC) believe Khameinie’s statement is criminal and will lead to intentional mass killing of the most vulnerable population in Iran.
With that, let me begin with introducing our panelists. I am joined with:
Dr. Firouz Daneshgari, Surgeon-scientist, Professor and 3rd Chairman of Department of Urology at Case Western Reserve University. Founder of Urology Institute at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Founder and President of innovative health care company BowTie Medical aligned with Affordable Care Act. Dr. Daneshgari has been published in over 200 scientific articles and book chapters, and his research has been continuously funded by National Institute of Health. He is affiliated with several hospitals across the US including many in Ohio. Dr. Daneshgari is recognized for his humanitarian and scholarly work internationally and is recipient of numerous prestigious medical awards. Needless to say, he is currently focusing on international campaign to end COVID19 pandemic in Iran.
Dr. Daneshgari welcome and it’s an honor to have with us today.
Dr. Firouz Daneshgari: Thank you and great to be here Dr. Sami. Look forward to our discussion on this topic.
Dr. Azadeh Sami: our next panelist is Dr. Zohreh Talebi. A Research Scientist and scholar practitioner in molecular biology, genetic and epigenetic factors. Dr. Talebi expertise is in systems biology approach such as linking genomic and phenotypic data with the focus on gene regulatory processes (such as X chromosome inactivation, noncoding RNAs, and alternative splicing). She has authored about 40 scientific articles and book chapters and frequently presented her research at National and International scientific conferences. In her field, Dr. Talebi has established and led a novel initiative called AutGO (Autism Genetics and Outcome) to promote partnership that draws on both genetics and clinical outcomes perspectives. COVID19 pandemic in Iran continues to be an area of interest and advocacy for Dr. Tablei. It is a great pleasure to have you with us today.
Dr. Zohre Talebi: Dr. Sami thank you so much and it’s an honor to be part of such a distinguished panel.
Dr. Azadeh Sami: last but not least, we are joined with Dr. Saeid Sajadi, who currently practices medicine at his 3 private offices. Dr. Sajadi is a graduate of University of Kansas School of Medicine where he received training in internal medicine from University of Missouri in Kansas City. For more than 3 decades, he has fiercely advocated for a free Iran, which respects human rights and adheres to a democratic and inclusive political system. Since the outbreak of COVID19 pandemic, Dr. Sajadi has worked tirelessly to support medical professionals and healthcare practitioners in Iran with knowledge transfer, research information and best practices. We are very pleased to have you with us today Dr. Sajadi.
Dr Saeid Sadjadi: Thank you Dr. Sami and delighted to join you all today.
Dr. Azadeh Sami: Wonderful. So, before we begin our main discussion, I think it is fitting to first understand how COVID 19 has impacted the people of Iran and how the regime has responded so far.
Dr. Azadeh Sami: This video had a key point how the regime responded to this pandemic so poorly and how the people of Iran continue to pay the highest price with their lives due to coverup, mismanagement and incompetence by this regime. The regime is also going out of its way to hide the true fatality rate. The good news is public demand for viable vaccine is on the rise. So, let’s begin with Dr. Daheshgari, Since the outbreak of the global pandemic we all have spoken about how the Iranian regime is deliberately using this virus as a weapon against the people of Iran. In fact, all of us have participated in various weekly online conference and public awareness campaigns (both in Farsi and English) to shed some light on the truth about preventive measures for the public, the health care professionals and the overall COVID19 situation in Iran. So, my question is, why would Khameinie come forward on January 8th to announce that his regime is banning the import of the internationally approved Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna and soon to come Johnson&Johnson vaccines? These vaccinations have 90% efficacy rate which substantially reduces the spread and death toll from COVID-19.
Dr. Firouze Daneshgari: Right, I think the best way to look at Khamenie’s call to ban these vaccines is not to question the efficacy of these impressive and incredible achievement by our colleagues across the scientific communities in US, UK and France. BUT to question Khameini’s motives. Let me outline some key facts:
Who called the pandemic “not a big deal” or a “blessing”? Khamenei, we just saw it in the video you showed.
Who stole over $1 billion in humanitarian funds that was released from country’s foreign currency reserve to help fight coronavirus? Khamenei and Rouhani back in March of this year. This was reported on extensively in farsi speaking media.
Who refused to accept aid from the United States back in March, right around the time of Nourouz? Khameini, this was reported by Associated Press quoting Khamenie himself who repeated the lies and conspiracy theory that the virus was “man-made by America.” This is what he said and let me read it to you: “who in their right mind would trust America to bring them medication. Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.” This is AP report on March 22, 2020.
Who ridiculed the concept of quarantining for the public but not for themselves? Rouhani and his deputy as we just saw in the video that you showed. They called it an outdated concept!
Who expelled Doctors without Borders on March 24 and disband their treatment center that they had setup in the rural areas to help the public? Khamenei and his regime
Who continued to authorize the IRGC’s Mahan Airline flights to China long after all other nations had banned flight to and from mainland China? Khamenei and the IRGC. Based on our research from April, Mahan Airline is responsible for spreading COVID19 to 17 other countries and it includes Iraq, Syria and others.
Who has the most financial resources at his disposal to address the crisis, provide financial aid and accommodate meaningful lockdown so that the public can afford to stay home? In 2019, the US government announced Khamenei financial empire is worth an estimated of $200 billion. Meanwhile, our colleagues in Iran’s hospital, and I am talking about Doctors and Nurses in Iran, are left without pay, are left without protective gears, are left without access to the most basic treatment for their patients. And many of them have lost their lives. Based on our research and data that was published in November of 2020, over 160 physicians and nurses have died due to COVID-19. These numbers are heartbreaking and devastating and yet Khamenie chooses to hold on to his funds and inhumane policies.
So, if I were to sum it up, when it comes to Iran’s religious dictatorship, they are hellbent on using the virus as a weapon against the people of Iran and that is why they are walking away from reliable vaccines from US and UK. The international community should not allow this regime to play with public health in such way. We must not allow the issue of vaccine to become a political game for this regime. And all of us as medical professionals are extremely concerned about this inhumane decision which is a continuation of a yearlong regime policy of using the pandemic as a way to oppress the public. Will do everything in our power to prevent the politicizing of the use of reliable vaccines for the people of Iran.
Dr. Zohreh Talebi: I have to agree with my colleague, Dr. Daneshgari that the Iranian regime is aggravating the country’s covid-19 crisis and undermining global public health norms.
Let’s take a step back for a minute and recognize that every country has been challenged with COVID19 pandemic. Each government has their own ways of dealing with the situation. Some use innovative and effective ways to deploy preventive and protective measures. Some governments are going out of their way to create transparency for public awareness and response to this situation. And some are not. We are not even talking about democracies vs. dictatorships. For example, in recent weeks, even North Korea, who claims that it has not been impacted by COVID 19, has reached out to several European countries to obtain the vaccines.
So, this is our frame of reference comparing the two dictatorships: Iran and North Korea; and in this case, Khamenei chose to be even more inhuman than Kim Jong Un. I agree with your opening remarks —Dr. Sami—that this is a criminal act by Iran’s highest authority and could lead to yet another crime against humanity. The death toll is rising every day, just today I learned the number has exceeded 206,300 in 478 cities across Iran. Very sad and alarming figures!
Dr. Saied Sadjadi: When discussing the case of COVID and the related vaccine in Iran, it is of paramount importance to recognize that we are dealing with a regime which uses the pandemic as a tool to suppress a society yearning for freedom. In other countries, COVID is on the verge of bringing about a social change in various fronts, whereas in Iran Khomeini is fixated on using COVID for the purpose of stagnation of society, and to prevent uprising.
So it’s not all about being backward or anti-science, it’s solely about political interests and survival. Khamenei sees regime’s survival, in the survival of the COVID. That’s why Khamenei is against an effective vaccine for the people of Iran. From this perspective, one can see why he is for an ineffective, or perhaps a dangerous, vaccine.
We just saw the clip of Khamenei resorting to an obvious lie about the vaccines made in the West, banning the import of American and British vaccines, claiming that US and Britain “want to contaminate other nations.” Any evidence to this nonsense? What’s the objective of contaminating other nations? It’s worth noting that every day, 100,000s of Americans and British get vaccinated with the same vaccines.
OIAC Webinar: Iran regime’s restriction of covid19 vaccination & crimes against humanity.