Iran has recently been accused by foreign policy experts of prioritizing its economy over the safety of the public. The allegations come after the Middle Eastern nation was accused of covering up the true number of fatalities due to the coronavirus after satellite images captured what appeared to be a large number of mass graves.
According to The Washington Post, satellite images show that weeks after the first coronavirus case in the popular region of Qom, two long trenches as long as 100 yards appeared in an area of a cemetery that had previously been untouched. The alleged burial sites are so large that they can be seen from outer space.
In addition to the seemingly incriminating pictures, witnesses report that the number of people buried was far higher than the government was claiming.
"A worker told me that they must have buried more than 250 coronavirus victims so far," one investigative report claimed.
The reporter behind the story also noted it was clear that several parts of the cemetery had been recently excavated.
"These are all graves and they are fresh," he stated.
"These are all from the last few days," he added, pointing toward the horizon to show the extent of the burial site. "And as you can see, it goes on until the end."
Critics of the Iranian government are now blasting the regime, claiming that the decision to hide the true total of fatalities and secretly bury the victims was necessary after adopting a policy that favored the economy over the public.
Despite knowing that Qom was the epicenter of a viral outbreak, the authorities allegedly still encouraged tourism to prevent loss of revenue from the popular pilgrimage site. Even as late as March 15, President Hassan Rouhani was emphasizing in broadcasts to the nation that any rumors about stores being shut down were "not true," per The Wall Street Journal.
This is despite the fact that Iran is one of the three worst hit countries in the world — with an official tally of 724 deaths and nearly 14,000 cases. This does not include the untold number in the alleged hidden burial sites.
Amir Handjani, an expert on Iran's economy with the Washington-based Truman National Security Project, claimed that Iran decided to prioritize its economy over the health of its people because internal consumption was the only thing keeping the country "afloat" after sanctions were placed on the Middle Eastern nation.
"The economic embargo of Iran made them hesitate to shut down the internal economy, the internal consumption, which is what's keeping the country afloat right now," he said. "They made the decision to put their internal economic viability ahead of public health."
Meanwhile, the coronavirus has economic consequences for countries around the world. Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently warned that the fallout from the pandemic threatens to be worse than the 2008 financial crisis, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.