BERLIN - The security forces for the Islamic Republic of Iran arrested a former TV presenter, Mahmoud Shahriari on Wednesday because he alleged the regime engaged in a cover-up about the spread of the deadly coronavirus.Shahriari was arrested for "disseminating false news about the novel coronavirus outbreak in Iran,” the Iranian-regime controlled Young Journalists Club (YJC) said. Radio Farda, the Iranian branch of the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, first reported outside of Iran on Wednesday about the arrest, citing the YJC outlet—a news agency run by the state-controlled Radio and TV network (IRIB).Radio Farda wrote that “Shahriari had accused the government of initially covering up the spread of the virus not to discourage people from participating in the state-run ceremonies, celebrating the 41st anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic on February 11.”The news outlet said that “He had also made fun of the clerics who dominate Iran on social media for their inactivity and lethargy.”"We have been in quarantine for a month, only eating and sleeping... Poor clergy! What a hardship they have endured in the past forty years", Shahriari said, in a mocking, sarcastic tone about the mullahs who control the country.Radio Farda wrote that he is “A vociferous critic of the Islamic Republic, Shahriari, 60, was recently banned from appearing on radio and TV shows.”He criticized the regime for permitting an Iraqi Shi'ite militia to enter Iran to "supposedly to assist flood-stricken people in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, southwest Iran," reported the outlet.Shahriari shaved his beard to protest against the regime’s billion-dollar embezzlements for alleged religous purposes.According to Radio Farda, Shahriari was a “favorite TV presenter since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979” and his “popularity peaked in the 1990s.”He was banned temporarily from appearing on state-controlled TV after video surfaced showing him dancing at his brother’s wedding party.The (MEMRI) posted a video of Shahriari warning Iranians in January that the coming Persian year of 1399 will be economically “hellish” for the Iranian public. Shahriari warned that “The money you have in the bank is not safe in any way, shape, or form… Handle your finances!” He said the banks in the Islamic Republic are bankrupt and the regime will” take money from the pockets of the people. The government has chosen the second option – to take money from the pockets of the people – and the increase in fuel prices is an obvious example of this.”He continues that “The public will be subjected to increased pressure, taxes will increase, and your livelihood will be in danger. The money you have in the banks is not safe in any way, shape, or form. My dear friends, the banks are bankrupt. “Shahriari added that”The central bank wants to lend them money in order to raise them to their feet. It is not me saying this – later, I will broadcast a statement by Mr. Hatami Yazd, the former executive director of Saderat Bank. He said that all the banks are bankrupt and the government does not dare say this. Handle your finances.”He noted that the regime cannot sell oil because of economic sanctions.Iran’s clerical rulers have faced accusations that they are fabricating statistics to hide the severity of the disease afflicting the population.The German daily Die Welt reported last week that the death rate in Iran is “four to five times higher than the regime admitted," citing Western security sources.