Iran’s Report on Riots: Foreign Agencies Behind Murder of Police Forces

March 27, 2023

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s High Council for Human Rights [HCHR] published a new report highlighting the circumstances surrounding the gruesome murder of Iranian security forces during the recent riots in Iran as well as the evident role that certain Western countries and their agents played in orchestrating the deadly riots.

The 83-page report starts with acknowledging the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always endeavored to have the highest security factor among the West Asian countries, and has followed the strategy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of others and reciprocally not allowing other countries to interfere in those of its own.

It says such independence has come at a high price for arrogant powers, which define their survival in the exploitation of other countries’ state of affairs and consider it their right to meddle in the internal affairs of others.

The report notes that these countries aggressively seek to destabilize and foster insecurity in Iran through different modus operandi, and employment of terrorism is among the tactics that the enemies have used against the country following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“Over the past four decades, more than 17,000 Iranians have been assassinated,” Iran’s High Council for Human Rights stated, emphasizing that the enemies have left no stone unturned to materialize their destabilization strategy as they cannot stomach Iran’s independence and the resistance of the Iranian nation against the avarice of arrogant powers.

The report added that enemies “grasped the opportunity to ride the wave of unrest and fan the flames of protests” following the tragic death of young Iranian woman Mahsa Amini on September 17, 2022.

The Iranian rights council then lambasted the accompanying of those who went along with the enemies’ fiendish plots and scenarios, arguing that the mistaken step caused the protests to fade away and morph into riots quickly, dealing a heavy blow to and inflicting a dramatic loss on the country and the nation.

“Iranian people, having prioritized their national interests, soon parted ways with rioters and separatists, emerging victorious from such a test once again,” the report said.

It then pointed to the death and injury of members of law enforcement forces during the recent unrest in Iran.

“During three months of riots, a significant number of young Iranians – more than 7,000 people – were injured by the rioters for merely defending the country’s national security, and some were even brutally murdered.”

“The death and injury of members of security forces come as, according to official instructions and available documents, they did not even carry any firearms to defend themselves against rioters and armed terrorists. On the other hand, rioters and terrorists took to the streets with firearms and shot security and police forces and even passers-by, killing many of them,” the report read.

Iran’s High Council for Human Rights underscored that over 8,314 weapons were recovered and confiscated during the riots, of which 6,314 were firearms.

The rights council identified some of the fallen Iranian security forces who were gunned down by armed rioters as Reza Zare’ Moayyedi, Davuod Abdollahi, Esmaeil Cheraghi, Seyyed Hamidreza Hashemi, Mohammad Amin Abdarshekar, Ali Beik Darzi, and Mohammad Amin Aref.

It added that some members of Iranian law enforcement forces, like Hossein Ojaghi, Mohammad Rasoul Doust-Mohammadi, Mehdi Zahedlouei, Hossein Zeinalzadeh and Danial Rezazadeh Motlagh, were also stabbed to death.

The report highlighted that a number of security forces, including Arman Aliverdi and Seyyed Rouhollah Ajamian, were mercilessly tortured and killed by rioters. Aliverdi was ruthlessly beaten and bludgeoned to death, while Ajamian suffered great torment before being stabbed to death.

Moreover, several Iranian security members, namely Farid Karampor Hassanvand, Majid Yousefi and Erfan Hamzeh, were run over by cars driven by rioters.

In Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad, the rioters, who were after shuttering down shops by means of threats and coercion, suddenly turned on ordinary people and knifed two innocent students to death. 

Iran’s High Council for Human Rights reported that groups of people also harassed veiled women in different cities, pulled their chadors off, disrupted people’s lives and disrupted their freedom of movement by blocking streets and highways.

The council stressed that mass funerals for victims of recent riots and nationwide rallies staged by millions of Iranians on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, followed by huge funeral processions for the victims of last October’s terrorist attack on the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz are a testament to the fact that Iranians draw a clear line and distance themselves from anyone who would seek to cause instability in their homeland and inflict damage upon the territorial integrity and national security of the country.

Foreign-backed riots broke out in Iran in mid-September after the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini. She fainted at a police station in the capital Tehran and was pronounced dead three days later at the hospital. An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization concluded that Amini’s death was caused by illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iran’s intelligence community has said several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have used their spy and propaganda apparatuses to provoke violent riots in the country.

Rioters went on a rampage, brutally attacking security officers and causing massive damage to public property.

On February 5, Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei pardoned or commuted the sentences of a large number of Iranian prisoners who had been arrested during the riots.

Imam Khamenei issued the amnesty on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the glorious victory of the Islamic Revolution, which put an end to the ruling of the US-backed Pahlavi regime in the country in 1979, and the birthday anniversary of the first Shia Imam, Imam Ali [AS].

The Leader’s amnesty included all but murderers and terrorists.

Iran Tehran terrorism mashhad UnitedStates UnitedKingdom IslamicRevolution MahsaAmini

Iran International: Inside the “Saudi-Funded” Network Promoting Regime Change in Iran


Iran International: Inside the “Saudi-Funded” TV Channel Promoting Regime Change in Iran Feature photo
Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.orgThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin Magazine, an


As part of the historic, Chinese-led Iran Saudi Arabia détente deal, multiple outlets have reported that Riyadh has agreed to stop funding or “tone down critical coverage of Iran” in Iran International, a high-profile English and Persian language outlet. Tehran accuses Iran International of supporting terrorism and engineering the 2022 anti-government protests. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, lauded the network as “a force to spread the truth and…the hope of freedom.”

Many were angered at the news. “Press freedom matters. It’s outrageous that Iran International is having their budget cut as a result of the Saudi-Iran normalization,” wrote Israeli-American journalist Emily Schrader.

Press freedom matters. It’s outrageous that @iranintl is having their budget cut as a result of the Saudi-Iran normalization. The fact IR would even make such a demand tells you everything you need to know about this terrorist Islamic Republic. #iranrevolution #pressfreedom

— Emily Schrader – אמילי שריידר امیلی شریدر (@emilykschrader) March 13, 2023

Yet this casual acceptance of the idea that Iran International is little more than a front for the Saudi monarchy will have been groundbreaking news to millions of Iranians who rely on the channel and believe it to be an independent, trustworthy organization.

For their part, the outlet has strenuously challenged the notion. Speaking with MintPress, Adam Baillie, a producer and media liaison for Iran International, stated that they are “an entirely independent TV news channel with no state or political affiliation either within or outside Iran.” Baillie also pointed MintPress to a recent comment from a Saudi official stating that “we continue to assert that it is not a Saudi media outlet and has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. It is a private investment.”


While the exact source of its funding remains murky, Iran International clearly has some serious money behind it. Bursting onto the scene in 2017 and broadcasting from London, from day one it presented a highly-polished product to viewers. And reportedly offering salaries of double the going rate, it was able to poach many of the most famous and influential journalists in the field from its rivals, quickly building up a large audience. It did this all despite not running commercial advertising.

By not doing so, the channel is leaving significant money on the table. According to a survey by Netherlands-based GAMAAN, it is the most watched and among the most influential networks inside the Islamic Republic, as well as within the Iranian diaspora, and is regularly cited by Western media, including the BBC, The Guardian, Fox News and CNN.

Navid Zarrinnal, an Iranian Studies scholar from Stanford University, told MintPress that the network is near ubiquitous in some parts of Tehran, stating that,

Being in Iran all the time, I see many families have a satellite dish. And Iran International is one of the main things they watch. A lot of people tune in because they see it as presenting the contrarian perspective to the state (which is actually the Western representation of Iran).”


While many Iranians insist Iran International is an unbiased source of information, even many Western outlets have dropped that pretense. For example, last week, The Economist – hardly a bastion of pro-Tehran sympathy – described Iran International as little more than an outlet dedicated to “air[ing] relentless criticism of the Iranian regime.”

This criticism helped bring worldwide attention to the Islamic Republic in September after the death in custody of 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini. Although demonstrations were originally peaceful, they were quickly overtaken by much more violent altercations, particularly in the northwestern Kurdish region, leaving hundreds dead.

In the heat of the moment, Iran International was one of the primary sources of information for Iranians and foreigners alike, and the network consistently encouraged the world to believe police beat Amini to death. It regularly used the word “murder,” even in headlines, to describe her death. It also insinuated that the government was on its last legs, claiming that leaders were getting ready to flee to Venezuela.

Baillie told MintPress that while Iran International had covered the protests closely, it did not pick a side, stating,

We have not supported or promoted protests in Iran: we report news which, in the case of the current situation in Iran necessarily means covering a very wide range of events and the actors involved in them.”

Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran and an advisor to the Iranian nuclear negotiations team, disagreed, telling MintPress that, “Iran International is very well-funded… It promotes violence in Iran.” During the protests, he claimed,

It and its guests called on people to attack and kill the police. It has said many times that murdering police officers is the morally correct thing to do. And [British media regulator] OFCOM, of course, does nothing about it. So that shows the hypocrisy of the British government.”

Zarrinnal took a slightly different position, explaining that the station also played a role in setting the agenda for international media, thereby influencing the worldwide coverage of events, stating,

What Iran International did many times was make a claim that was not substantiated; it was just an analyst who might say something. But they presented it as a factual claim. And then that claim gets cited in Western media, so it just got bigger and bigger…So it forms perceptions, not only in Iran, but also across the diaspora and internationally.”

One example of this is the debunked story that the Iranian government had announced that it would publicly execute 15,000 protestors in an orgy of violence. Iranian lawmakers called on the judiciary to issue harsh sentences to the protestors. Iran International suggested that this meant the death sentence. From there, however, like a worldwide game of telephone, the story morphed into the viral hoax that the government had already sentenced thousands to death – a notion promoted by the likes of Newsweek, celebrities such as Sophie Turner and Viola Davis, and even Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau.


The Iranian government has long demonized Iran International as a Saudi mouthpiece. Yet there is evidence suggesting there could be some merit to the charge. In 2018, The Guardian published an investigation, purportedly based on interviews with the network’s staff, claiming that Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) himself is the driving force behind its rise and that a Saudi firm closely associated with the ruler injected a cool quarter-billion dollars into its set up.

This money was kept secret, even from senior staff, many of whom were reportedly very unhappy with who was paying their generous salaries. “I was told that not even one Saudi rial is in the funding. If I knew it came from Saudi, I would not have joined the station,” one source told The Guardian, adding, “I can say that Iran International TV has turned into a platform … for ethnic partisanship and sectarianism.”

The same source went on to allege that many at the network have figured out the truth but cannot resign for fear of incurring repayments on their contracts or because their visas to continue living in London are dependent on Iran International’s sponsorship.

While Saudi money might be beyond the pale for some journalists, it is clear that top Iran International staff do not mind working for foreign, state-backed entities. News editor Shahed Alavi, for example, formerly worked for Voice of America, while presenter Niusha Saremi left a job at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to join the company’s ranks. Both Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty are funded by the U.S. national security state and are part of what The New York Times called a “worldwide propaganda network built by the CIA.”

Iran International has also recruited heavily from the British state broadcaster, the BBC. In 2018, for instance, Sima Sabet left a longtime position as a presenter on the BBC World Service for a similar post at Iran International, while Nader Soltanpour quit BBC Persian to become the face of the new network. Just as with Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the BBC enjoys an intimate relationship with the British national security state.


The network airs a wide range of ideas and opinions, so much so that it could be said to be difficult to pin its ideology down. However, the one overarching and unmissable connecting theme of its coverage is hostility to the current political setup in Iran – one that has persisted since the revolution of 1979 that deposed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. It consistently highlights human rights problems in the country, especially those regarding the treatment of women and the LGBTQ+ communities. While Iran (like every country) does have issues with women’s rights, if it is truly being funded by Saudi Arabia, it is ironic that arguably the most oppressive government in modern history has suddenly found women’s and minority rights to be their cause célèbre.

Undoubtedly, though, Iran International has raised the profile of Prince Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last shah, frequently interviewing him and presenting him as the next ruler of Iran. Last year, for example, it claimed that Pahlavi is the most popular figure in the country and that the large majority of Iranians supported regime change. Thus, Iran International finds itself calling for more democracy in Iran while simultaneously promoting the monarchy.

Pahlavi is far from the most controversial character it has promoted, however. The channel came in for widespread criticism for platforming the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), live broadcasting its rallies. The MEK is a Saudi-funded armed cult that has taken credit for a number of bombings and was previously designated a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.

Another brush with terrorism came in 2018, when those responsible for the Ahvaz Attack, which killed 25 people and injured dozens more, claimed responsibility for the event via Iran International. Not long afterward, the network interviewed a guest who praised the attack, describing those hit as legitimate targets. The United Nations Security Council labeled the mass shooting event as a “heinous and cowardly terrorist attack.”

Yet while Iranian government-funded outlets like Press TV are banned in the West, British authorities cleared Iran International to keep broadcasting. Zarrinnal noted that, although Iranian media is far from exemplary, Iranians are actually exposed to a much wider range of opinions in media than in supposedly democratic countries.

“What is interesting to me is that you have easy access to anti-government perspectives. So you can just buy a satellite, turn on the TV, and you have anti-revolution perspectives you can consume easily. But here in the U.S., because they control the means of media production and distribution, you don’t really have access to these alternative perspectives,” he said, noting the blacklisting of foreign media such as RT or Press TV.

In addition to BBC Persian or Voice of America, Iranians can tune into the Saudi-funded MBC Persia network or read The Independent Persian, a Saudi-backed Persian-language outlet that shares the same branding as the British newspaper, The Independent, but is fully Saudi-operated.

Arguably the most controversial character that Iran International has supported, however, is Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an extended interview earlier this month, the network presented him as a voice for peace in the Middle East and a champion of the Iranian people, pitching him such softball questions as “what is your favorite Persian dish” and asking if he has many Iranian friends.

As much as the network was pro-Netanyahu, the far-right prime minister was even more effusive in his praise of them. “Iran International has gone international; it has become a force to spread the truth and to spread the hope of freedom. And I encourage you to continue that, both inside Iran and outside,” Netanyahu said.


While Saudi Arabia is doubtless trying to influence the Iranian public, those efforts pale into comparison with its attempts to co-opt Western media. In 2018, the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund injected $200 million into Penske media, owner of many influential titles such as Variety and Rolling Stone, and has been buying influence in Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

Vice Media, which brands itself as an edgy counterculture organization, has also signed a lucrative contract with Saudi Arabia, producing multiple documentaries touting the supposed social progress being made under the MBS dictatorship. The company has opened an office in Riyadh and organized a $20 million youth music festival in the kingdom, although it attempted to hide this fact by keeping its name off all contracts and asking employees to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Before the deal, Vice’s presentation of the country had been relatively adversarial. But, as media critic Adam Johnson has detailed, its critical coverage of Saudi Arabia dropped to zero overnight after they signed the funding agreements. It is unlikely that this will change in the near future; earlier this year, Vice agreed to an extensive content production partnership with Saudi-owned MBC Group.

Vice is far from the only big organization in bed with the Saudis, however. In 2018, American Media Inc., owners of titles such as Us WeeklyOK! and Men’s Journal, published a 97-page propaganda magazine extolling the virtues of the revolutionary visionary MBS and how he is transforming the country into a modern, 21st-century utopia. 200,000 copies were printed and distributed in stores across the country. Despite the fact that it carried zero advertising, American Media insisted that they received no Saudi money for doing so. Before publishing, however, they reached out to the Department of Justice to inquire whether they needed to register as an agent of a foreign power, undermining this claim.

CNN has also published a great deal of suspiciously positive content about the repressive Middle Eastern state. In 2020, it claimed that “freedom was blossoming” across the nation and that Saudi Arabia had “changed beyond recognition” for the good. Other CNN articles describe it as a “tourist destination to watch” thanks to MBS’ “epic efforts.” CNN did not respond to a request for information about these articles and their relationship with the Gulf kingdom.

The idea that Saudi Arabia has been transformed into an enlightened, progressive kingdom jars with reality. According to Human Rights Watch, the country is one of the most repressive and authoritarian in the world, where women are effectively the property of their male relatives and often need permission to work, travel or receive healthcare. Millions of immigrants are kept under slave-like conditions, and being gay is punishable by death. There is no freedom of religion. Children regularly receive corporal or even capital punishment; last week, a court upheld the decision to execute two young men for crimes committed while they were minors.

Likewise, the Saudis have been very active in the United Kingdom, paying millions to high-priced British public relations firms to soften their image. What Reporters Without Borders have called “checkbook diplomacy” has extended into the U.K. parliament, with dozens of MPs receiving trips and other gifts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Tony Blair Institute, the pet project of the controversial former prime minister, has also received millions in funding from Riyadh.

Saudi companies widely accused of being front groups for the government have bought major chunks (between 25% and 50%) of influential newspapers, The Independent and The Evening Standard. Other big British outlets, including The GuardianThe Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph, have taken Saudi money. Guardian readers, for example, have opened their newspapers to be greeted with large, half-page messages telling them that “He [MBS] is bringing change to Saudi Arabia” or that “He is empowering Saudi women.”

One reason the media has done close to zero investigations into the British war on Yemen is because Saudi Arabia buys 40% of UK arms—and our esteemed press corps take their priorities direct from the state.

Another is many outlets are directly funded by the Wahhabi dictatorship.

— Matt Kennard (@kennardmatt) March 8, 2023

In less than six years of operations, Iran International has managed to build up a significant national and global following. Yet it has done so with the help of a pliant British state and through enormous injections of highly suspicious money – cash which is roundly assumed to be linked to the Saudi monarchy. This does not mean that they receive orders on the content or editorial direction from anyone. But if it is the case that it is secretly funded by the Saudi state, it is hard to see it as anything other than an elaborate influence operation to promote regime change in Tehran. Yet if the recent thaw in relations between the two nations turns into something more substantive, Iran International’s future could be as murky as its sources of income.

Feature photo | Illustration by MintPress News

Meta overturns decision to remove ‘Death to Khamenei’ posts

The Metaverse company explained that the phrase is not a literal threat to the Iranian supreme leader

January 09 2023

(Photo Credit: Reuters)

ByNews Desk

On 9 January, the US-based Meta company overturned its decision to remove posts calling for the demise of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, specifically posts containing the phrase “death to Khamenei.”

The Metaverse company explained that the phrase is not a literal threat to the Iranian supreme leader. Anti-government social media posts commonly use the term ‘marg bar Khamenei’ which translates to “down with” the supreme leader in Farsi to English, with decision-makers in Meta saying it is “It is a rhetorical, political slogan, not a credible threat.”

These captions are in reference to the alleged murder of Kurdish-Iranian national Mahsa Amini by Iran’s morality police, which resulted in nationwide protests against the Iranian government and brought instability to the nation.

Allowing such chants to be posted directly violates Meta’s policy of preventing users from inciting violence. However, political experts suggest that this double standard proves Meta’s ambiguous and inconsistent post-regulations.

Meta’s board said: “in the Iranian context … Meta must do more to respect freedom of expression and permit the use of rhetorical threats. The Iranian government systematically represses freedom of expression, and digital spaces have become a key forum for dissent. In such situations, it is vital that Meta supports users’ voices.”

US-based social media platforms are known for censoring posts that spread misinformation or incite violence, yet commonly allow posts that dehumanize nations that fall within West Asia’s resistance axis, including countries such as Palestine, Yemen, Russia, and Iran.

Last week, ‘Zahak,’ an updated game available on Google Play for free, allows users to play as Iranian protesters whose main mission is to fight high-ranking officials in the Islamic Republic, with the final goal being the assassination of Khamenei and to overthrow the government in Tehran.

This is a step up from the latest Call of Duty (CoD) game, which included a stage in which the player must carry out the assassination of an Iranian general bearing a striking resemblance to Soleimani, the fallen Quds Force commander. Despite the provocative nature of that particular CoD level, the name of the Iranian general depicted was – at the very least – rebranded from Soleimani to ‘Ghorbrani.’

A US tool against Iran: Kurdish militancy on the Iran-Iraq border

US and Israeli-backed armed Kurdish separatists on the Iraqi border have participated in every incident of Iranian domestic strife, from 2009 to 2022.

December 15 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By The Cradle’s Iraq Correspondent

After hours of traveling around the Iraqi border between the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Iran, you will come to a single conclusion: “This is a one-sided border.”

Since April 2003, after the illegal US invasion of Iraq, West Asia transformed into a vast playground for an array of foreign states and entities. Among them are Iranian Kurdish separatist parties and organizations stationed in northern Iraq.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) often targets the sites of these armed militias with airstrikes because of the separatist threat they pose. But why are these groups even based in Iraq, and do Baghdad and Erbil play any direct role in hosting militias that target Iranian territory?

These questions persist – unanswered – bar the ever-present Iranian military responses, as in September when the IRGC carried out targeted drone and missile strikes against separatist Kurdish militias for 13 consecutive days.

When the operation concluded on 7 October, the IRGC announced it had achieved its goals,” but warned that it “will resume its operations, if the threat to Iran’s national security returns again.”

Iranian Kurdish separatists

The most prominent of these Kurdish militias is the Kurdistan Free Life Party (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê – PJAK), whose activities against Iranian interested suddenly escalated after the US occupation of Iraq.

After 2004, PJAK appeared for the first time as an armed force, in the same areas controlled by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) led by Abdullah Ocalan. The PKK are primarily based in the Qandil Heights in the far north-east of Iraq, which lies within the Zagros Mountain range that extends deep into Iranian territory.

The “East Kurdistan Forces” are the military arm of the anti-Iran Kurdish militia, and its fighters are estimated to be between 800 and 1,200, most of them from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran and various Kurdish regions.

In a series of articles published in The New Yorker in 2006, journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that the US and Israel were training this party and supporting it financially and with intelligence in order to undermine Tehran.

Shortly after its invasion of Iraq, the administration of US President George W. Bush began a covert program to train and equip PJAK, with Israeli assistance. “The group has been conducting clandestine cross-border forays into Iran,” Hersh reported, as “part of an effort to explore alternative means of applying pressure on Iran.”

Taking advantage of social unrest

The recent and on-going unrest witnessed in a number of Iranian cities following the death of the young Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, while in police custody on 16 September, provided an opportunity for PJAK and other Kurdish separatist parties to step up their subversive activities.

The Cradle’s Iraq correspondent was able to reach sites targeted by IRGC in the town of Koysanjak (60 km east of Erbil, the capital of the KRI) near the Iranian border, and to approach one of the largest camps of PJAK in one of the town’s valleys, surrounded by a mountain range.

It is almost impossible for journalists to reach these sites, so we had to travel disguised, alongside local villagers and with a Kurdish coordinator who arranged our visit. The militia fighters often shop in villages surrounding the camp.

However, “their goal is not to shop, but to carry out security and intelligence operations that the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party in Erbil turns a blind eye to,” confirms a shepherd who moonlights as a tobacco and fuel smuggler on both sides of the border.

He estimates the number of fighters here to be just over 1,000, The mountains provide a comfortable and secure space to carry out their military activities, which include daily exercises and a live-fire military drill in the Autumn.

‘Dangerous dreamers’

Our source calls the PJAK fighters “dreamers” because their military arsenal dates back to the 1950s, and includes light weapons, explosive devices, mortars, and anti-vehicle mines. “The Americans will not give these people modern weapons,” adds the smuggler, who fought in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, and has experience in traversing the rugged border terrain.

Nevertheless, he warns that these people are “dangerous,” with “Eastern Kurdistan Forces” now transitioning to security work and “management of operations” inside Iran. Their work is conducted in cooperation with special forces from the Peshmerga of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the “coalition” forces (which are mainly US troops).

This cooperation is not new, and has accompanied every major incident of internal civil strife witnessed by Iran since at least 2009, including turmoil in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and most recently, 2022.

In the past two years, PJAK’s activity has ceased to be purely military, and “we see its fighters accompanying guests. It is true that they disguise themselves, but we are not naive,” the Iraqi source says, adding, however, that the Kurdistan region “will not reap a profit from this game as usual.”

Iraqi Kurdish links to PJAK

Officially, the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which are the two main political parties in the Kurdistan region, deny any connection with PJAK. However, Kurdish leaders acknowledge the existence of “coordination,” “transmission of messages,” and “exchange of information” with the militia group. The KDP has previously called on PJAK and PKK to lay down their arms.

Certainly, it would be difficult – if not impossible – for PJAK to manage activities of this magnitude on Iraqi territory, and to globally market themselves as “freedom fighters,” without the collusion and support of both Kurdish and Iraqi authorities.

A high-ranking Iranian diplomatic source with experience in Baghdad for more than ten years, confirms the existence of a tripartite committee that includes representatives from Tehran, Baghdad, and Erbil to exchange information about the “subversive activities” carried out by PJAK against Iran.

The committee does not, however, hold regular meetings, and the Iranians have become convinced that its trouble-shooting initiatives are not serious because of Baghdad’s ineptitude, and because of the involvement of foreign states in supporting the separatists.

This has prompted Tehran to adopt a policy of “force to deter what threatens its national security,” with one or two officials in the Iraqi state being informed half an hour before any Iranian military strike operations commence.

The diplomatic source, who has military experience, adds: “We constantly monitor everyone who visits PJAK sites, the movements of its fighters, all their steps, and the support they receive. We broadcast recordings of the moment of the bombing to assure the separatists and the intelligence services that support them that we know their locations very well.”

Baghdad turns a blind eye

Yet in Baghdad, official sources deny the existence of a tripartite committee, as well as any prior warning of Iranian airstrikes. In fact, a high-ranking Iraqi officer even informed The Cradle that there are headquarters and safe houses for Kurdish separatists and their leaders in both Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, with coordination between PJAK and the PKK.

There is also evidence that the separatist militias are active in illegal, cross-border activities that generate revenues for PJAK which, in turn, enable it to pay its fighters’ salaries. Baghdad is aware of all this, sources say, but turns a blind eye.

Safe-guarding Iran’s territorial integrity

The high-ranking officer claims, nevertheless, that Iraq’s new Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani is serious about his initiative to establish a new Border Guards Force stationed between the region of Turkiye and Iran, and to prioritize supporting these forces with human resources, weapons, and modern equipment.

But the source has also expressed pessimism over this border venture, and expects the continuation of PJAK’s activities in the mountainous area they know so well.

He points out that Tehran “will not be convinced of the Iraqi field and military measures. The Iranians know our capabilities. The presence of the separatists at their borders will remain a source of security concern. And they told us that they will not stand hands folded in the face of this threat.”

“Practically,” he concludes, “Tehran is the one that controls the borders in the area of ​​the Jasusan mountain range.”

Needless to say, as a sovereign state Iran will adopt a proactive stance in confronting threats to its national security posed by foreign-backed, separatist groups – even though this may undermine the sovereignty of its weaker Iraqi neighbor.

While it is collectively in the interests of Iran, Iraq and indeed Turkiye and Syria to co-ordinate over this mutual ethno-nationalist, separatist, security threat, Baghdad has been too slow to rise to the challenge.

Instead, we may see this process begin first in the Northeast of Syria, where all four states are currently gathered in heightened concern over militarized Kurdish separatism, its foreign sponsors, and the imminent threat of a military confrontation. 

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Iran: To veil or not to veil

December 09 2022


Photo Credit: The Cradle

Sharmine Narwani

The explosion of protests in Iran that began in September were not about the Islamic Republic’s “hijab law” specifically, but about the abuses and excesses of the so-called morality police – the Gasht-e-Ershad (also known simply as Ershad, or in English, the ‘guidance patrol’) – against regular Iranian women who were considered to be immodestly garbed.

Public disgruntlement was triggered by the widely-publicized death of Mahsa Amini, who was apprehended by the Ershad and died while in their custody.

Although subsequent video footage released by Iranian police authorities showed that Amini had collapsed herself – likely due to her personal health history, as her official autopsy indicates, and not from alleged “beatings” – Iranians argued that the stress of it all may have triggered that collapse.

In the weeks ahead, protests morphed into riots, and people were killed, both civilians and security forces. Whether the two sides shot at each other, or other, external provocateurs were at play, is not the subject of this commentary.

The question is more where these recent events will take Iran, and whether public sentiment on the hijab will be addressed by the country’s governing bodies – and how.

Iran’s very diffused decision-making centers

Iran is by no means the ‘caricature dictatorship’ often portrayed in western mainstream media. While Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains the final authority on strategic matters, it is a privilege he rarely exercises to counter domestic critics.

As opposed as he was to Iranian nuclear talks with western powers, Khamenei fully permitted the government of former President Hassan Rouhani to proceed with its negotiation agenda, in its desire to normalize economic relations and end Iran’s then-isolation.

There is probably no figure in Iran who has gone on the record as vehemently as Khamenei, warning that the west is never, ever to be trusted, and that Iran’s greatest power lies in its economic self-sufficiency and complete independence from western-dominated global networks.

And yet Khamenei sat back and allowed the Rouhani administration to pursue a policy that completely contradicted his deepest national convictions.

The Supreme Leader’s actions, however, speak to the very real diffusion inherent in Iranian decision-making processes today. There is no single authority in the state. Decisions are either made collaboratively or in heated and often very public disputes that play out in the Iranian media, in parliamentary debates, or behind closed doors.

In essence, Iran has three main power centers today: First, the Supreme Leader and his various state revolutionary organs that include the army, the police force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and the millions-strong volunteer Basij forces.

Second, Iran’s government and its state institutions that include the elected president, his cabinet, the country’s ministries, and parliament.

And third, the hawza (seminary) of Qom, Iran’s religious center, which consists of thousands of Shia scholars, authorities, and influencers who impact the interpretation of religion, actions, and behaviors for the Islamic Republic.

All three power centers impact state policy in varying ways, and their fortunes have all ebbed and flowed at different times. Within each of these centers exists a vast network of supporters, institutions, media, economic interests, and influential personalities. They, as in other democratic societies, vie for their perspectives to be taken into account and put into action.

To imagine for a second that a single person or decision-making body can issue a directive on an issue as complex and symbolic as the hijab, is to be absolutely clueless about the intricacy, contradictions, and diversity within the Islamic Republic’s body politic.

A view from the ground

During a two-week visit to Tehran in late November, I noticed significant differences on the ground than in my many previous visits, which stopped in January 2020 due to Covid travel restrictions.

During my last visit to the Iranian capital in 2020, one would occasionally see Iranian women sitting without their hijabs in restaurants. Today, however, the ladies were walking on streets, in malls, at the airport, in traditional bazaars, universities and parks, both uptown and downtown, without the customary head-covering.

What is of utmost importance in the current heated discourse on the Iranian hijab is that this ‘uncovering’ trend did not start in September with the protests. This critical detail goes entirely unmentioned in the western media narrative.

Many Iranian women – in the intervening three years since my last visit – had dropped the headscarf, and the scenes in my photos above have been the norm for years. Did the pandemic help relax the social norms during these years? Nobody I asked had a clear answer. “It just became normal,” was a common refrain.

Today, you can see Iranian ladies – young and old – without a hijab, with a headscarf, and with the more traditional floor-length chador walking together on the same streets; everybody doing their own thing and minding their own business.

It is a fascinating development, because by law in Iran, hijab is mandatory. And yet nobody forcibly implements this law until the Ershad pops back onto the scene.

This is important, because the Ershad is not always there, at all times. While they have been a functioning body since 2006, Iranian authorities appear to only mobilize them at specific intervals: perhaps Qom is getting restless over morality issues, or conservatives are vying for influence over reformists, or there are geopolitical tensions on the country’s borders.

The point is that the Ershad has never been a constant on the streets of Iran, but usually a result of something happening politically somewhere in the country.

Authorities gather to discuss the hijab

Nonetheless, three months of protests and riots later, the issue of the hijab appears to be coming to a head among the Islamic Republic’s competing power centers.

In my personal experience, Iran’s security branches like the IRGC – which operate under Khamenei’s authority – are the least belligerent on the hijab issue. They are focused on foreign infiltration, sabotage, anti-terror operations, and warfare, not on the nitty-gritty of daily life and behaviors.

The hijab is a ‘symbol’ of the Islamic Republic, and symbols – as we have seen in countless hybrid wars conducted in West Asia and beyond – are the first and easiest targets for external provocateurs.

Whether it is changing the colors of the national flag to symbolize opposition, or crafting ditties to replace the national anthem, or encouraging women to whip off their headscarves and videotape it – these are the low-hanging fruit of hybrid warfare.

In a January 2018 interview by a private Iranian publication that has a closed distribution and whose readers are specifically security officials and ‘principalists,’ I was asked about the use of these tools in Syria and Iran. My response, with some length-related edits, is below:

“Symbolic slogans, banners and props are a staple of western-styled ‘color revolutions.’ Iran saw the full impact of these tools in the ‘Green’ movement during the 2009 elections. The use of visual tools (a picture is worth a thousand words) to sum up a theme or aspiration that is instantly understandable to a wide audience – this is basic marketing. People do this in elections all the time, but now these concepts are being effectively utilized in information warfare at a geopolitical level.

The use of the green colonial-era flag in Syria was an easy way to quickly draw a larger number of the Syrian population into the ‘opposition’ tent. Basically anyone who had a grievance with the government – whether political, economic, social, religious – was urged to identify with the protest movement under the banner of this new flag. Syrian activists began to mobilize masses by ‘naming’ Friday protests, using language that sought to craft the opposition’s direction and to slowly Islamize it.

Slogans and props are easy propaganda tricks to employ to draw ‘uncommitted’ members of the population into embracing an anti-government position. Identity tools are an essential component of regime-change operations. You have to delegitimize the existing national symbols in order to craft new ones.

In Iran, the image of the young woman without her hijab swiftly became one of the symbols of the protests on social media. Ironically, the hijab could potentially be viewed as an ‘identity prop’ for the 1979 Islamic Revolution – an easily identifiable symbol which immediately identified a distinct political or religious outlook. As a result, in foreign-backed propaganda assaults on Iran, the hijab will almost always be a target to delegitimize or mock.” (Emphasis mine)

The interview was published alongside a photo of me without a hijab. A few weeks later, I received a message from a top Iranian analyst who is reportedly closely affiliated with the IRGC’s Quds Force. He sent a screenshot of my comments on the hijab, and asked if I had written this. To my surprise, he told me that he fully agreed with my assessment.

On another occasion, Iranian IRGC-backed publication Javan requested an interview along with a translation of one of my Syria articles for a special-issue magazine on the regional Axis of Resistance. Again, they published a photo of myself without the hijab.

Hijab and the state

Simply put, the hijab isn’t a priority issue for Iran’s security sector. They have more important fish to fry. But it is a vital subject for the theologians inside and outside Qom.

And perhaps also for the millions of Iranian women who choose to don it, and don’t want to be bullied out of it, as were their grandmothers in 1936 when then-monarch Reza Shah Pahlavi outlawed the traditional Islamic head covering.

“With the ban on hijab, many women stayed inside their homes for years or left home only in the dark or hidden inside carriages to avoid confrontation with the police who would if necessary use force to unveil them. Even older Christian and Jewish women found the ban on headscarves hard to comply with,” writes Maryam Sinaee – ironically, for Saudi-backed publication Iran International, which runs 24/7 propaganda for Iranian oppositionists nowadays.

These matters aside, Iran’s security leaders have an unusually strong case to put to the clergy today: ‘The hijab, which we respect, has entered the national security realm. Foreign-backed agendas have weaponized the hijab to promote regime-change operations.’ This is not a position the clergy can argue given recent events.

It is probably why Iranian authorities are reportedly considering a host of options to take the threat off the table, including, potentially, the suspension or dissolution of the Ershad, to be replaced by a general program to teach and advise about Islamic modesty across the country, for both men and women.

The Ershad – established under the administration of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – are off the streets now, and have been for many weeks. And the three main Iranian centers of authority are deep in conversation about how to calm residual tensions and address this social grievance among segments of the population.

Interestingly, this development somewhat mirrors that of arch-rival Saudi Arabia across the Persian Gulf, where the “mutawa,” or Saudi religious police, were stripped of their once-unchecked powers and privileges in 2016 by royal decree. Since then, it has become more common to see women publically unveiled and not wearing the traditional black abaya over their regular clothes, despite there never having been a Saudi written law mandating it.

Qom – and many others – will never agree to retract the hijab law. After all, its over-zealous enforcement by the few was what the argument was originally about. Like many laws without teeth that remain on the books of countries everywhere, Iran’s hijab law may experience a similar fate.

But while we can expect a gentler Iranian hand in regard to the hijab, it will be also be accompanied by a merciless de-fanging of those who sought to use this symbol of piety to undermine the state.

Iran to Grab the Initiative in the “Combined War”

November 26, 2022 

By Ali Abadi

Have the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran begun to regain the initiative in the “combined war” that was imposed on them? What is the horizon for the next stage in dealing with the emerging internal-external challenge?

When Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei indicated in a speech to a gathering of school students earlier this month that the enemy had a “plan” behind igniting the “combined war” currently targeting Iran, His Eminence was recalling the information contained in a joint statement of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards on October 28. The statement included data, most notably:

  • The involvement of the CIA and the British, “Israeli” and Saudi intelligence in the disturbances within the “plan to destroy Iran”. The planning and practical implementation of the bulk of the riots was carried out by the Mossad.
  • Smuggling military and espionage equipment for subversive networks into Iran.
  • The CIA organized training courses for some of its Iranian agents, including “N.H.” who took the first photo of the late Mahsa Amini while she was in the hospital.
  • Setting American institutes for riots several months before they occurred, as they ordered their agents to abuse sanctities, burn the Holy Quran and mosques, and target security forces and clerics.

The decline of “protests” and the progress of assassinations

About two months after the outbreak of the protests, it can be said that their course is taking a downward turn based on several indicators. The first chapter of it, which is to stir people up and push them to the street, has exhausted its energy, even if it has not completely ended yet. Now it is mainly dependent on armed groups carrying out assassination attacks against security personnel. Over the past few days, these groups carried out attacks that led to the killing of security officers who were working to control the situation and interview some people on the street [in Mashhad, Isfahan, Kurdistan, Khuzestan, and Baluchistan]. It seems that the aim of these attacks is to escalate the situation again in the street by provoking the security forces to draw them into a reaction that sheds more blood.

The shootings took place in provinces where the activities of separatist armed groups are concentrated, such as Khuzestan, Baluchistan, Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan, and incidents took place in other regions [Isfahan, Tehran, Mashhad] to give the impression that all of Iran is a hotspot. However, the movements remain limited in comparison to the vastness of Iran, and the number of participants in each movement in the street is in the hundreds at best.

In a preliminary reading, it appears that the security services are acting according to a plan that takes into account the following objectives:

  • Luring: Detecting riot groups and their organizers by giving them an opportunity to go out in public, as what happened in the past weeks, when a large number of people were arrested based on what was captured from cameras, drones and information of informants on the ground.
  • Gaining public opinion: To allow people who were affected by the demands raised by the rioters to see the truth about these people through their practices and to reveal the fall of a large number of security personnel during the protests at the hands of armed and rioting groups. It is worth noting here that the climate in which these disturbances were born affected some of the political elites in the country who did not take a position on what was happening, which the Iranian president referred to as “a clouding of the minds of the elite”. This reveals a loophole similar to what happened in Lebanon after October 17, 2019, where some figured had been affected by the propaganda atmosphere on social media and foreign media. This imposes a tax on solution that has a greater political and security cost.
  • Reducing casualties among people during security measures on the ground to prevent the enemy from benefiting from any mistakes that might contribute to the siding of bewildered Iranians to the rioters against public order. This may lead to losses and sacrifices among the officers of the security forces, but this price remains small given the goal of not harming the largest number of people.

The Iranian security services were able to defuse the tension in some areas after opening dialogues with many social elites, as many people who were concerned about the safety of their regions and countries confirmed that the issue was not related to specific demands, but rather to dragging the country into an open confrontation with dangerous consequences.

In parallel, the security services are carrying out local operations to dismantle many cells responsible for killing people and security personnel and arresting their members, which is expected to lead to the dispersion of these groups and the scattering of their efforts and ability to communicate. And the security services show that they have accurate information about the people involved, based on technical tracking and relying on surveillance cameras and drones that play a role in monitoring movements on the ground.

In his speech to a delegation from the people of Isfahan a couple of days ago, Imam Khamenei drew attention to two points: the first is reassuring, in which he said that the current events will be accommodated and that “rioters and those behind them are too despicable to be able to harm the regime”. The second is that the people respond to these practices with greater awareness through massive participation in the funeral ceremonies of security personnel who are killed by the enemy. This last observation was tested and seen clearly in the funerals of martyrs who died in different provinces, and this would “turn the threat into an opportunity” to mobilize the people in the face of the enemy’s plans.

Direct US Intervention

Also, within the combined war, there are direct interventions led by the United States to add fuel to the fire and encourage the continuation of the unrest through:

  • Statements by American and European political leaders criticizing what they call “violations against protesters in Iran”, in an unbalanced view that reflects a strategy pursued to undermine the Islamic Republic’s government.
  • The mobilization of the media and the use of the capabilities of social media platforms in order to undermine Islamic values and transform the current problem into a position on the Islamic identity of Iranian society [the hijab, turban, flag of the Islamic Republic, pictures of martyrs, various religious symbols]. This malicious endeavor is being carried out by some idiots who see the West as their reference, and not the broad masses of the Iranian people who are proud of their religious values.
  • Imposing commercial sanctions on Iranian companies and others on Iranian media personalities, particularly on state television, which broadcasts video clips of confessions of those arrested in the assassination crimes.
  • Pressure through the United Nations General Assembly, where Western countries pushed for a session that voted to condemn Iran regarding alleged “violations” of human rights, noting that the number of countries that supported the resolution [78 votes] represents less than half of the number of countries that participated in the session [178 countries], where the rest preferred to abstain [69 countries], and a smaller number dared to refuse to condemn [31 countries]. This comes at a time when the US State Department exempted the Saudi Crown Prince from prosecution in a case brought before US courts in the case of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in exchange for US commercial interests.
  • Pressure through the United Nations Human Rights Council as well, as it will meet within days to vote on a project directed against Iran, after it was prepared in a text proposed by Western countries.
  • Pressure in the United Nations Women’s Committee “to get Iran out of the committee,” as US Vice President Kamala Harris pledged.
  • Pressure through the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] by holding a meeting condemning Iran for “not cooperating with the agency in the investigation of uranium enrichment activities”, without regard to the steps presented by Tehran in this context, including the signing of the Additional Cooperation Protocol. Washington hopes, in coordination with its partners, to bring Iran’s file to the Security Council, claiming that it poses a threat to international peace and security. This claim is not approved by several countries, including Russia and China, which indicates that the ultimate US goal is to defame Iran and harm its reputation and credibility in international forums, in preparation for its isolation, to prevent it from achieving great gains in the event that an agreement regarding the nuclear file was reached later.

Thus, the US administration proves that it uses the United Nations with all its bodies to implement its own agenda aimed at subjugating Iran and achieving what it failed to achieve in the Vienna meetings. It is concretely confirmed that the Biden and Trump administrations are two sides of the same coin, as the current administration completes the investment in what its predecessor began in terms of the strict blockade against the Islamic Republic.

There remains a final sign: Iranian media reported that Iran had informed Qatar that it would not respond during the period of the World Cup hosted by Doha to external parties that planned and organized interference in its internal affairs, in response to Qatar’s positive position of not cooperating with the efforts aimed at preventing the participation of Iran’s national team in the event. And if this is true – and it appears that it is according to some evidence – then this means that the authorities of the Islamic Republic will take advantage of the period of the Qatar World Cup in order to rearrange the internal security situation, after which it will devote itself to dealing with the sources of the external threat.

Terrorist Attack Targets Southwestern Iran, Three Criminals Arrested

November 17, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Iranian security forces arrested three people involved in a deadly terrorist attack in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

“Three of the main elements of today’s incidents and unrest in [Khuzestan’s] Izeh County have been placed under arrest,” Ali Dehqani, director-general of the Justice Administration Department of Khuzestan said.

“[Further] efforts are on the agenda for identification and apprehension of other elements connected to the incidents,” he added.

At least seven people were martyred after terrorists opened fire at people and security forces at a crowded market in Izeh around the sunset on Wednesday.

Officials have identified a nine-year-old child, a 45-year-old woman, and three youths among the martyrs. At least 10 other people were also wounded.

The wounded have also been transferred to the province’s Ahvaz County for treatment, the judicial official added, saying relevant orders have been issued for the incident to be addressed as a special case by the provincial Justice Administration Department.

The attack came amid ongoing foreign-backed riots that have hit various Iranian provinces after a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, named as Mahsa Amini, died in hospital despite intensive medical care and resuscitation efforts.

Amini, who had been taken to a police station in Tehran to receive educational training on Hijab and dress code rules, was reported to have suddenly collapsed to the ground at the station and then put into an ambulance to be transferred to the hospital.

Tehran Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi has refuted claims that Amini had been mistreated during the dress code educational session, saying no physical contact had happened between officers and the young woman.

The violent riots have claimed the lives of dozens of people and security forces while also allowing terrorist groups to carry out strikes in the country.

On October 26, a Daesh-affiliated terrorist attacked the Shah Cheragh shrine in the southern province of Fars before the evening prayers, killing at least 15 pilgrims — including a woman and two children — and injuring 40 others.


Fact check, Trudeau: Iran is not executing 15,000 people

15 Nov 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau falsely claims that Iran has sentenced 15,000 protestors to death before deleting the tweet in which he made the false claim.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 11, 2022 (Reuters)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau falsely claimed on Tuesday that Iran was sentencing some 15,000 protestors to death on Twitter before deleting the tweet after an onslaught of reports containing the false news came out.

The Prime Minister’s post led to a slew of other – nonetheless fake – posts making the same claim and echoing concerns for the Iranian rioters.

However, interestingly enough, the social media campaign did not have any evidence to back it, and despite that, it garnered the attention of thousands, including renowned celebrities such as actresses Sophie Turner and Viola Davis.

“Canada denounces the Iranian regime’s barbaric decision to impose the death penalty on nearly 15,000 protestors,” Trudeau wrote. “These brave Iranians were fighting for their human rights – and we continue to stand united in support of them, and united against the regime’s heinous actions.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tweet

The post – now taken down – was widely shared and used by users and advocates alike in the 12 hours it stayed up.

Canada had in late October sanctioned several Iranian individuals and entities in connection to the unrest sowed in the Islamic Republic and Tehran’s attempts to quell the riots.

Ottawa sanctioned 10 Iranian individuals, in addition to entities, – an extension of the ongoing acts of Western hostility against the Islamic republic. 

The list of 6 individuals sanctioned by the Canadian Foreign Ministry includes Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister Seyyed Majid Mirahmadi; Mohammad Karami, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Operational Base in Sistan and Baluchistan Province; Ezzatollah Zarghami, the former head of Iran’s Broadcasting Corporation; Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the former head of the Iranian National Security and Foreign Policy Commission; Soghra Khodadadi Taghanaki, the current director of Qarchak Women’s Prison; and Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, the former speaker of the Guardian Council.

More sanctioned entities include Iran’s Guardian Council, Assembly of Experts, Expediency Discernment Council, and the Fars News Agency.

Instagram has since tagged the post as “False Information”, saying: “Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.”

The post garnered the attention of various media personalities and journalists, who were quick to criticize the Canadian premier and dismiss his claims.

“Extraordinary lack of basic fact-checking. Iran has not sentenced 15,000 protesters to death, as a number of celebrities and political leaders are saying,” said Sune Engel Rasmussen, a Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent said.

“I don’t know the source of the news that 15,000 protesters were sentenced to death, but even Justin Trudeau repeated it,” a senior BBC Persian reporter, Siavash Ardalan, said in criticism of Trudeau’s decision to echo the false claim.

“Apart from showing how weak the Canadian prime minister’s news sources are, it also has a terrible result that the execution of less than 15,000 people will be considered a success by the government,” the senior reporter added.

“The post was informed by initial reporting that was incomplete and lacked necessary context. Because of that, it has since been deleted,” a Canadian government spokesperson told CNN.

“It was based on reporting of serious concerns raised by international human rights advocates warning of possible future sentences, including the death penalty, imposed on thousands of Iranian protesters who have already been detained by the regime,” they added.

It is noteworthy that the rioters committed several atrocious crimes during the mass riots, including arson, rape, and even murder. However, only one person has been officially sentenced to death by the judiciary.

Check out: What is happening in Iran?

The unnamed rioter is facing the death sentence over committing arson after he set fire to a government building. Five others who took to the streets to participate in the riots were sentenced from five to 10 years in prison after they were convicted of colluding to commit a crime against national security and disturbance of public peace and order.”

The original riot-turned-demonstrations took place in the aftermath of a young woman’s death that the West rushed to capitalize on, claiming that the Iranian police murdered her.

Afterward, the Iranian police published CCTV footage documenting the last moments of the young Iranian girl, Mahsa Amini, at the police station. The Tehran police said the footage proved that the 22-year-old was not subjected to any violence or physical abuse. 

The demonstrations were organized in many cities, namely: Tehran, Isfahan, Kashan, Shiraz, Mazandaran, Yasuj, Bandar Abbas, Qom, Qazvin, Gilan, and Bojnord, among others.

The demonstrators then issued a statement denouncing riots, acts of sabotage, and vandalism that hurt the interests of the Iranian people.

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Macron’s statements; clear proof of interference in Iranian affairs

14 Nov, 2022 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The remarks of the French President that the alleged “revolution” in Iran will have an impact on the Iranian nuclear talks corroborate the Iranian accusations of French meddling in the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron (AFP)

During an interview for France Inter radio on Monday, November 14, the French President estimated that the current alleged “revolution” in Iran has an impact on the nuclear deal negotiations. The interview was recorded Friday with Elysée, after Emmanuel Macron’s meeting with four members of delegations of Iranian regime-change mouthpieces, as described by Fars news, including a Washington-based journalist, Masih Alinejad

Macron commented on the Western-induced hysteria surrounding the Iranian riots, saying that the “revolution changes a lot of things,” adding that “the regime is weakened by Iran’s internal situation and the demands that are hard to obtain.”

He called for international sanctions against Iranian officials saying, “I am in favor of a strong diplomatic reaction and sanctions on the figures of the regime who have a responsibility” in what he called “the repression of this revolution,” in an interview for France Inter radio.

Read next: Dirty money: Meet the US agent driving the CIA-led riots in Iran

Macron described the crackdown as “unprecedented,” adding, “We don’t rule out any option,” he said, noting that Iran’s government was already the target of numerous sanctions.

He repeatedly used the word “revolution” to describe what was happening in Iran, while accusing the government of “cracking down” on the western-instigated riots. 

Was it a mere coincidence that when he welcomed pro-Western Iranians who are strong advocates of regime change in Iran he brought up the issue of the so-called “revolution” having an impact on Iran’s nuclear talks? Or does it stand as clear proof of the real intentions of the west, particularly France in this case?

As a matter of fact, one can only say that the French President has actually confessed to interference in Iran’s affairs, albeit indirectly and unintentionally, having brought up the impact of the riots on the nuclear talks, which only confirms the Iranian accusations of Western interference in the country.

But how is it so? The answer lies in Iran’s statements via different officials all along, from day one. 

Western meddling in Iran

The Assistant Commander of the IRGC for Political Affairs, Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, confirmed on November 11 that one of the enemy’s goals in destabilizing the country and trying to repeat the Syrian scenario in Iran is to influence the nuclear negotiations and obtain some concessions.

During a speech at a symposium entitled “From protests to riots,” Javani said all the “enemies have united to confront the government in Iran.” 

In the same context, Iranian Army Commander, Maj. Gen. Seyyed Abdolrahim Mousavi, considered on November 7 that the riots in Iran were part of the US plan to disrupt the negotiations on the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Read next: When double standards reign, Western ‘humanity’ dies between the lines

Mass riots began in Iran in mid-September in connection with the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Iranian authorities have accused Western countries of fueling the riots, and European diplomats were given a note of protest in connection with anti-Iranian media reports and calls to overthrow the country’s government.

“The recent unrest in Iran was part of US efforts to disrupt the negotiations in Vienna [on the JCPOA],” Mousavi was quoted as saying by Iranian state broadcaster IRIB.

Foreign intelligence services behind riots

Foreign intelligence was never absent from the Iranian arena ever since the riots started.

Earlier, a spokesperson for the Iranian Parliament’s presiding board, Nizamuddin Mousavi, stated that the Minister of Interior submitted a report on recent developments in the investigation into Mahsa Amini’s death.

On September 23, the Iranian Minister of Interior Ahmad Vahidi confirmed that “reports, evidence, and medical examinations confirm that Amini was not beaten,” which refutes western media claims that the Iranian woman was brutally beaten while in morality police custody. 

Mousavi said that “there are individuals linked to foreign organizations, intelligence services, and terrorist groups that had a hand in fomenting the recent riots.” He pointed out that “estimates indicate that some 45,000 people formed networks across the country, some of whom have been arrested.”

Who trained the riot leaders?

In the same context, Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi revealed that the leaders of the recent riots in Iran received training in seven countries.

Referring to the recent riots, Vahidi considered that the enemy harnessed all its energies, including the media, in order to undermine national unity but suffered defeat in the face of the vigilance and insight of the coherent Iranian people that were able to thwart this scheme.

It is noteworthy that in late October, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and the IRGC’s intelligence wing revealed that intelligence obtained by Tehran indicates that the CIA and allied intelligence services planned a conspiracy against the Islamic Republic.

“The conspiracy’s goal is to commit a crime against the Iranian people and the territorial integrity of Iran,” the statement underlined.

“The main perpetrators were the CIA, the British and Saudi intelligence services, the Israeli Mossad, and the intelligence services of other countries,” it read, indicating that “the planning and the execution of the majority of the riots were carried out by the Mossad in collaboration with terrorist organizations.”

French nationals confess to unrest in Iran

It is worth noting that Iran released a video on October 6 of two French citizens, Cecile Kohler and Jacque Paris, arrested for espionage in Tehran. The two are unionists with France’s National Federation of Education, Culture, and Vocational Training.

In the clips, Kohler confessed to being an “intelligence and operation agent of French foreign security service.” The two French nationals infiltrated into Iran as tourists on April 28 but turned out to be spies for Western intelligence agencies.

According to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, the duo attempted to foment instability and social disorder earlier in June when some teachers took to the streets in peaceful protests to demand fair wages and better working conditions.

Read next: Iranian intelligence arrests element linked to detained French spies

Macron’s ‘double standards’ exposed through social media

Some wrote on social media platforms against Macron’s anti-Iran statements, highlighting the French President’s double standards. Some reminded him of France’s colonial past, stating that Iran will teach him a lesson this time, while others slammed him for undertaking the mission of defending what he called a “revolution” to describe riots in a country while turning a blind eye to the crimes and slavery practices of Qatar. 

Translation: While France is on the verge of exploding, Macron allows himself to give Iran lessons, while not saying a word about Qatar and its crimes and slavery practices. 

Translation: France decided not to learn from its past interferences in the internal affairs of other countries. Iran will teach it that.

Now, what about the French protests, and how did Macron handle them? The President demonstrated utmost hypocrisy by criticizing Iran while his people were prevented from merely expressing themselves during the recent French protests. 

Macron confidently defended the Iranian riots as a “revolution”, while designating the French protests as riots. He criticized the Iranian government’s “violent suppression” while allowing his security forces to crack down on protests against the deteriorating livelihood in France.

Moreover, 100 injuries were reported in clashes between environmentalists and French police at a protest on October 31 against the building of a sizable water reservoir for farm irrigation in western France, according to the authorities. About 60 gendarmes and 30 demonstrators were injured in the protest, which the authorities tried to suppress in the Sainte-Solin area.

Additionally, tens of thousands of French people took to the streets last month in protest of the government’s performance, Macron’s economic plans for the country, and the rising costs of living. The protests were predominantly led by the country’s leftist coalition.

So, technically, when people protest for their most basic rights in a European country, they are attacked and beaten under the pretext of putting an end to riots. 

In stark contrast, the actual riots taking place in Iran, coupled with vandalism, violence, murders, and arson, which are in fact instigated by the very natural death of Mahsa Amini, are hailed as acts of “democracy” that ought to be protected by all means necessary, even if that leads to the violation of a country’s sovereignty and interference in its internal affairs through collaborators and proxies, such as the terrorist groups MEK and ISIS.

The aim behind all that is going on in the Islamic Republic of Iran is terrorizing and fomenting unrest in the West Asian country after all the development and progress it has achieved at all levels. Rising as a key influential player in the region, all eyes, whether friends’ or foes’, remain focused on the Islamic Republic either to build or to tear down bridges.

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They will never understand the Islamic Republic

November 03, 2022


By Aram Mirzaei

As I’m writing this, I, together with many other Iranians are filled with outrage. The almost daily terrorist attacks in Iran are trouble to say the least. Today, November 3, another outrageous terrorist attack took place in the city of Karaj, northern Iran. Terrorists attacked civilians and police officers on the Qazvin-Karaj highway in the morning. In a video released on social media, one of the terrorists can clearly be seen executing a wounded police officer. This is how the tragic Syrian war began, and this is what Washington has planned for Iran.

For the past two months, Washington, the Zionists and their Western client states have launched a massive psychological operation against the Islamic Republic, with tens of thousands of online trolls and their army of “journalists” who spread fake news and disinformation every minute, every day. The amount of fake news spread during this psyop is ridiculous. Some trolls/bots even claimed that the Halloween disaster in South Korea was Tehran’s fault.

Saudi-owned “Iran International”, BBC Persian, ManotoTV and other disgraceful outlets have, from their London and Los Angeles offices been spewing lies and fake news around the clock, while also openly encouraging violence in Iran. These lies have been repeated by western media and both Iranian and non-Iranian celebrities around the world. This is a massive psychological operation that is arguably only second to the one going on against Russia concurrently.

Immediately after accusing the Islamic Republic of beating Mahsa Amini to death, the western countries announced that they’d be imposing new sanctions on Tehran, despite having announced their eagerness to revive JCPOA only a week earlier. What happened? Ostensibly the reason given for these sanctions are “repressive measures and violation of human rights and international law”.

By now, only the idiots of the world actually believe that “human rights” is the reason behind western sanctions anywhere in the world. If “human rights” or “women’s rights” were the issues they had with Iran, then how come the Saudi kingdom is spared from these sanctions, where women need Mahrams (male guardian) to go anywhere outside their home, where they chop up journalists in their embassies abroad, and behead people in public in the “chop chop square” in Riyadh?

This is about western interference in Iran and how it ended with the Islamic Revolution. It´s about a country that they had absolute control over, and then suddenly lost it all. This is what their hostility is about. It is not unique for Iran. We see the same hostility towards any independent country such as Russia and China for example. It´s not about “regimes” or ideologies either. If that was the case, then they wouldn´t have overthrown the democratically elected Mossadegh in 1953 in favour of the dictator Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

In his most recent speech, Ayatollah Khamenei correctly identified the root for the long conflict between the US and Iran: “They say the reason the Americans stood against the Iranian people was the move you made in the embassy,” he said. “That is, ‘you attacked our embassy and a dispute emerged between us [which led to] a fight and an enmity.’ They lie. This is not the case.”

“Mosaddegh’s government was a national government. His problem with the Westerners was only the issue of oil. He neither was a Hojatoleslam (top Islamic cleric) nor did he promote Islam. The issue was just related to oil, which was in the hands of the British. He said that the oil should be in our hands. This was his only crime.”

“They arrested Mosaddegh and his entourage and everyone [else],” he said. “Some were executed later, and some were imprisoned for many years.”

“Our dispute with the Americans started that day. Now, American politicians are hypocritically and shamelessly saying that ‘we support the Iranian nation,’”

To the imperialists in Washington, there´s no greater affront than a country that stands independently, securing the interests of its people and its future. This is intolerable! Even worse, when a backward and “uncivilized” country such as Iran dares to challenge US hegemony, such audacity must be met with the most vicious and cruellest animosity. Ever since the Islamic Revolution, the US has imposed “draconian sanctions”, conducted numerous terrorist attacks and assassinations, imposed an 8 year long war on the country, and launched several coup/regime change operations. They have over the past 43 years, both through direct and indirect channels offered Tehran bribes to abandon the struggle and support for the Palestinian cause, end the hostility towards Washington´s dear Zionist regime and abandon the struggle for a multi-polar world.

All of these efforts to destroy the Islamic Republic´s resolve have failed. And they will continue to fail. Why? Because they do not understand, and they won´t ever understand. Ever since the days of Jimmy Carter and his embarrassing New Year´s speech in Tehran in 1977 where he declared Iran to be “an island of stability”, meaning that Washington felt absolutely safe in their control over the country, to John Bolton´s pathetic speech in front of Iranian terrorist supporters in 2018 where he expressed his hope to “celebrate in Tehran” before the end of the year, they have failed time and time again to correctly analyse the Iranian people and nation.

In a great speech, Ayatollah Khamenei talks about these repeated miscalculations:

Today, we see the same type of miscalculation as the one that Ayatollah Khamenei speaks about in the video above. They thought that they could launch a “feminist revolution” in Iran, believing in their own lies that the Islamic Republic has no supporters, and will collapse under the pressure of riots and strikes. The Islamic Republic responded by mobilizing its supporters and this was the result:

Here are the ”liberal feminist rioters”: En bild som visar träd, utomhus, personer Automatiskt genererad beskrivning

And here are the supporters of the Islamic Republic:

En bild som visar text, utomhus, gata, stad Automatiskt genererad beskrivning

Clearly, the few thousand “protestors”, of which a minority of them were actual terrorists/subversives, were overwhelmed by the massive amount of people who have come out in support of the Islamic Republic. But of course, they won´t show any of this in the Western media. Instead they have dozens of “analysts” who speculate on how quickly the Islamic Republic can fall and how Ayatollah Khamenei is “already dead and has been replaced by a body double”.

Seeing how they failed to cause any trouble for the Islamic Republic through “protests”, they resorted to riots, separatism and terrorist attacks instead. Kurdish terrorists, Baluchi terrorists, Arab and Azeri terrorists, all seeking to partition Iran. ISIS seeking to genocide Iranian Shias, and monarchists seeking to “immediately re-establish ties with Israel and the United States, and take a historically correct stance against Russia´s war in Ukraine”, as the self-styled “crown prince” of Iran said last month. These are the people Washington has mobilized for a “free Iran”. If the Islamic Republic were to fall, these people would partition the country into at least five different pieces, and start killing each other in a free-for all Battle Royale. Thankfully, security forces in Iran are arresting numerous rioters and terrorists on a daily basis who often start crying on camera, confessing to their crimes and who they received money and weapons from. Not a single one of them have stood their ground and defended their despicable actions. Big surprise!

What do they know about fighting for a cause? What do they know about bravery and sacrifice? What do they know about brotherhood? Nothing! They are opportunists who, like their ex-pat friends in the West, would sell their own mothers for money and power. Just like in Syria, they have no leaders, no honour and no dignity. They are being used as tools by Washington, only to be thrown under the bus when the Americans are done with them. This is how the Americans treat their “allies”.

On the contrary, The Islamic Republic was deeply embroiled in chaos and war with Saddam when it sent the first men to Lebanon to assist in the creation of Hezbollah in response to Israel´s invasion in 1982.

IRGC Quds force personnel arrive in Lebanon 1982.

Since those days, everything Iran has achieved, it has shared with its brothers in the region. Why? Because only united, can this region kick the barbaric Anglo-Zionists out. It was in anticipation for days such as this that Iran built an impressive missile arsenal, formed, and supported multiple armed militia groups in different countries in the region and have now reached out to great powers such as Russia and China to form a strong alliance against the Empire. In their arrogance and racist view, they thought that the Islamic Republic was resting on a rotten foundation such as the ones that their allied regimes in the Persian Gulf are resting on. Did Washington expect the Islamic Republic to go down so easily? Did they think that Syria, Hezbollah, Hashd Al-Shaabi, Ansarullah and other allies in the region would just idly stand by and watch while the strongest member of the Resistance alliance is being destroyed? Did they think that the Islamic Republic built an arsenal of hundreds of thousands of missiles just to collapse under the pressure of petty thugs and crude terrorist attacks?

Like I mentioned in my previous article, Iran is not Libya or Iraq during Saddam Hussein who stood alone in face of a NATO onslaught. Iran is both powerful on its own, and has powerful allies. Tehran is not alone in facing the evil empire and today, not just regional allies but great powers such as Russia and China have major stakes in Iran. Any foreign intervention, or bombing campaign against Iran will be met with missiles raining on Israel and US bases across the entire West Asia. If they want to test the Islamic Republic´s capabilities, then they must be ready to make very big sacrifices, because the era of hit and run attacks is over.

The westerners didn’t understand why Iranians were angry at them in 1979 and why they overthrew a “modern king” in favour of a “backward Islamic theocracy”. Many westerners still cannot understand how the Islamic Republic can be so popular among the Iranian people, and often just refuse to believe it. Why would they understand? They don’t know how 200 years of humiliation and subservience to others feel. They don´t know how it feels to have elected a prime minister, only to see him overthrown by foreigners who returned an unpopular dictator to the throne. They don´t know how it feels to have their country´s natural resources plundered by foreigners for decades.

Throughout the years since the Revolution, the Islamic Republic and its allies have given a lot martyrs for the cause of liberating West Asia from the Zionist empire. From the war against Saddam´s Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of young men were martyred, to the wars against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, these martyrs were inspired and driven by Imam Hussein´s immortal struggle against oppression. This is the ideology on which the Islamic Republic was formed and still rests on. They do not fear the US and its fabled “military might”. They do not fear American “super duper” bombs and missiles. They fear only God and consider fighting against oppression a religious duty, just like Imam Hussein did 1400 years ago. This is what the westerners do not understand when they try to intimidate Iran and its allies.

43 years since the embassy takeover on November 4 1979, they still do not understand that the Islamic Republic is a result of their own cruelty and injustice against Iran, and it has come back to haunt them. If they haven´t understood by now why the Islamic Republic continues to grow stronger, despite all their attempts to destroy the country from both the outside and inside, then they will never understand.

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Why Western regimes are complicit in Daesh carnage at popular Iran shrine

Friday, 28 October 2022 6:16 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 28 October 2022 7:51 AM ]

Shah Cheragh shrine in southern Shiraz city belongs to Ahmed ibn Musa Kazim.

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

It didn’t come as a surprise that the Daesh Takfiri group claimed responsibility for the dastardly terrorist attack at the revered Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz on Wednesday.

The modus operandi employed by the Kalashnikov-yielding terrorist who went on a rampage at the 12th-century shrine belonging to a descendant of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was straight out of the Daesh playbook.

So, quite expectedly, the group in a statement posted on their website Amaq News bragged about the carnage, which left at least 15 people dead and dozens of others injured.

Among the victims were 4-year-old Artin’s parents and brother, who had gone to the shrine for evening prayers. Artin was lucky to survive and is recuperating from injuries at a local hospital in Shiraz.

The terrorist, whose identity hasn’t been disclosed yet, reportedly aimed to target the congregational prayers inside the main hall of the shrine, but the shrine staff shut the door on him, preventing a bigger massacre.

Let’s get this straight. Contrary to popular perception, Daesh hasn’t been decimated or consigned to the dustbin of history yet. The group, driven by the toxic Takfiri ideology, is very much active and thriving.

It reminds me of what Lebanese Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said some time ago. The self-anointed Daesh regime in Iraq and Syria was annihilated by the resistance axis led by Iran’s famed anti-terror commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

But, as a group and ideology, Daesh is still very much there – in Iraq, in Syria, in Afghanistan – overtly and covertly backed by Western powers.

It’s no secret how Daesh fighters were shipped from Iraq and Syria in military helicopters to Afghanistan, to fill the vacuum left by the US-led NATO military alliance. Those who deny this fact need a reality check.

This is the group that wreaked havoc in Iraq and Syria for years and continues to carry out diabolic attacks on religious and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan in line with the roguish agenda of Western hegemonic powers.

The far-right Takfiri ideology that drives these brainwashed terrorists, according to which anything not in sync with their rigid interpretation of religion must be exterminated, is essentially designed to sow seeds of discord among Muslims and malign the image of Islam. That is precisely where the interests of Daesh and Western powers converge.

The criminal collusion between them has been on full display in regional countries in recent years. And now they have shown the audacity to target the Islamic Republic of Iran, attacking the country’s sacred religious places and spilling innocent blood to incite sectarian tensions and civil war.

The last time Daesh footprints were spotted in Iran was in 2017 when the group targeted the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the parliament building, leaving at least 17 dead and hundreds of others injured.

This is a moment of reckoning for people in Iran, cutting across sectarian, regional, and ideological lines, to thwart evil plots designed to cause social disintegration in the country. It’s also important that regional countries join hands with the Islamic Republic to confront and defeat this hydra-headed monster before it swallows them.

The fact that Wednesday’s attack came amid foreign-backed unrest and riots in Iran makes it even more sinister and dastardly.

 It won’t be an exaggeration to state that the anarchy and mobocracy seen across Iran in recent weeks essentially paved the ground for this cold-blooded massacre, which makes the Western powers that instigated rioters directly complicit in this diabolic crime.

As Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian quite rightly remarked on Thursday, it’s a “multi-layered project” by enemies to fuel insecurity in the country.

What is also worth noting is the target chosen by the terrorist group – a holy shrine in a city known as Iran’s cultural capital. Shiraz, the capital of southern Fars province, is among the major tourist attractions in Iran, known for its picturesque gardens, ruins from Achaemenid era, mausoleums of legendary Persian poets Hafiz and Saadi, as well as the city’s rich heritage.

The objective appears to be fuelling insecurity, instilling fear, and turning Iran into another Afghanistan or Syria, so that tourists stop coming and locals live in constant fear.

There are very few hashtags for victims of Daesh terrorism in Shiraz, which is not surprising though. It goes to show not all lives matter. Had it been Paris or London or New York, it would be a different story altogether. But this is the Islamic Republic of Iran, the country that has singlehandedly challenged the hegemony of arrogant global powers and laid bare their evilness.

Hence, it’s only understandable why the corporate Western media, an extended arm of the Western military-industrial complex, has willfully shut its eyes to the bloodletting in Shiraz, treating it as a normal incident.

The same media brazenly distorted facts in the case of Mahsa Amini’s death and instigated deadly riots in Iran that cost many precious lives.

The self-righteous human rights advocates in the West, who miss no opportunity to decry Iranian authorities for using force to maintain law and order, especially amid foreign-backed riots, have also been silent. Their silence amounts to both complicity and cowardice.

As Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raeisi have categorically stated, this terrorist act will not go unanswered. The perpetrators and their backers will have to pay the price. It’s important to nip this evil in the bud.

Syed Zafar Mehdi is a Tehran-based journalist, political commentator and author. He has reported for over 12 years from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and Middle East for leading publications worldwide.

(The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

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In stern warning, IRGC says Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iran media war will backfire on Riyadh

Monday, 17 October 2022 2:30 PM  [ Last Update: Monday, 17 October 2022 2:51 PM ]

The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami

The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, warns Saudi Arabia that its media campaign aimed at stoking tensions in the recent riots in Iran will backfire on the Riyadh regime.

Iran warns the Al Saud regime to “mind its behavior and control its media [outlets] or [the actions] will backfire on itself,” Salami said while addressing the units of the IRGC’s Ground Force participating in a large-scale military exercise in Iran’s northwestern border regions.

He gave Saudi Arabia an ultimatum, cautioning it against interfering in Iran’s internal affairs through the kingdom’s news media outlets that seek to lead the Iranian youths astray.

He stressed the importance of maintaining national security as a principled policy of Iran and reminded the neighbors that the Islamic Republic pursues the policy of friendship and fraternity as long as the enemies hatch no plot against it.

The IRGC chief said any change in the geography of the region is Iran’s red line, adding, “We are a brother of any country and power that is interacting with us properly. We call on our neighbors to resolve their problems through interaction and non-military approaches.”

“We have interests in the region, and if any change takes place in any part of the region and our interests are threatened, then we will not remain neutral and will defend our national interests,” the IRGC chief pointed out.

Salami’s remarks came as Saudi-sponsored media have stepped up their rhetoric against Iran amid the recent protests and deadly riots in the country following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.

Iranians have held protests over the passing of Amini. However, some extremist elements derailed the protests and incited violence against security forces. Western-backed media outlets have also encouraged violence. Iran says it will not allow interference in its internal affairs.

The foreign-backed violent riots have also claimed dozens of lives from both security forces and ordinary people as the Western media and Persian-language news networks continue to provoke riots in Iran.

In a meeting with members of the Expediency Council on Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the riots in several Iranian cities were devised by enemies as a “clumsy,” “foolish” and “passive” reaction to the nation’s great progress.

Leader says riots enemy plot devised in ‘clumsy’ reaction to nation’s progress

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the enemy acted “passively” and “clumsily” in the recent riots across the country.

“The Iranian nation made great moves in a short period of time, which were 180 degrees opposite to the global arrogance’s policies, and they were forced to react,” the Leader said, referring to the United States and other Western powers.

‘Neighbors should not allow Israel’s inroads into their countries’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Salami denounced the infiltration of the Israeli regime in a number of countries located in the south, west and north of Iran, saying, some of Iran’s neighbors “may argue that their (Israelis’) presence poses no threat to our (Iran’s) security, but Israel’s nature is [based on] creating insecurity.”

“We advise the neighboring countries not to let Israel into Islamic territories because they (Zionists) … seek to foment insecurity,” the senior IRGC commander added.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Campaign Against Iran Not About Hijab, It Is Way Beyond That

October 5, 2022


The mysterious death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini at a Tehran hospital after collapsing at a police station is still receiving the attention of Western media and advocators of the West.

By now, there seems no need to remind readers of what is happening in Iran, it is the talk of the town.

Protests started in Iran, and these seemed to be too soon hijacked not only by violent rioters and thugs, but also by Western media along with anti-Iran activists that are leading the campaign against Iran on different media platforms, and on the ground.

Shortly after Mahsa’s death [she had slipped into a coma while receiving training on the proper rules of wearing a Hijab at the police center and died three days later], social media platforms were filled with allegations on mistreating and torturing her. Of course, Western media did not lose the chance to pick the story up and distort it and use it to distort Iran’s image and attack it.

The movement started to call for the removal of Hijab, an Islamic covering woman use to cover their hair in public places. It was all centered-on Hijab at the very beginning. But as expected, it was way beyond the issue of Hijab which is not understood or misunderstood by many non-Muslims or westerners. Anyways, Hijab was not the real issue. It was a wide-organized and orchestrated campaign against Iran’s government to increase economic pressures, target its culture and destroy its social values.

People are enemies to what they do not know. Many of Iran’s antagonists do not understand its logic, ideology or background and therefore get drifted and go with the flow. However, there is evidence that the campaign against Iran is orchestrated in cooperation with foreign meddlers.

According to a statement released by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry on Friday, the rioters have been backed by Western regimes and their mercenary media, who disseminated misinformation and distorted the sequence of events that led to Amini’s death even before the official investigation into the incident concludes.

Governments are involved too. Stories emerging in the news are evidence to some Western governments anti-Iran sentiments, who took advantage of the West-orchestrated protests and campaign to put more pressure on Iran. The government of Canada has imposed sanctions on a wide range of Iranian institutions and persons, including the 24-hour English-language Press TV, over alleged “rights violations” following the recent foreign-backed riots in the country.

The Canadian government announced the new sanctions in a Monday statement, claiming they were in response to “human rights violations” committed in Iran.

France followed Canada’s lead soon. France’s foreign minister said Tuesday that the European Union was looking to impose sanctions on several Iranian officials involved in the crackdown on protesters.

Speaking in an address to military cadets in Tehran on Monday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the unrest that erupted in some parts of Iran following Amini’s death, stating that the deadly riots were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the ‘Israeli’ regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” the Leader said.

“If it were not for the young girl, they would have invented another excuse to create insecurity and trigger riots in the country on the first day of Mehr [the Persian calendar month of] this year,” he pointed out.

“Many riots broke out across the world, including in Europe. There are riots every now and then in France and Paris in particular. But the question is: Has it ever been the case for the US president and the House of Representatives to support the rioters and make statements? Is there another case where they have sent messages and stated that they are with them? Is there another case where mass media affiliated with American capitalism and their mercenaries in the region, including the Saudis, have supported rioters in other countries? And is there a case where Americans have announced that we will provide certain internet hardware or software to rioters so that they can communicate easily with each other?” the Leader added.

As the world tries to put maximum pressure on Iran, they still do not realize that things do not fall into place that way. We will have to wait and see how Iranians will come together soon at a certain point and realize this is another attempt to destroy a country that has been enjoying security.

Imam Khamenei: Amini’s Death Broke Our Hearts, Riots and Unrests in Iran Were Planned

October 3, 2022

By Al-Ahed News

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei has said the death of Mahsa Amini “deeply broke our hearts”, emphasizing that the incidents in the aftermath of her death were all “planned”.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for military cadets at Imam Hassan Officer Training University on Monday, Imam Khamenei described the 22-year-old woman’s death as a “bitter incident”.

“The death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, saddened all of our hearts, but reacting without waiting for investigations is unprecedented,” the Leader said.

His Eminence further explained that “Riots, disturbing security as well as insulting the Quran, mosques and veils, in addition to attacking banks and cars, were all part of a pre-planned scheme”.

In his address, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s armed forces said that “In recent days, the internal security forces, the popular mobilization, and the Iranian people have suffered more than anyone else”.

The Leader highlighted the circumstances surrounding the unrests in Iran in the aftermath of Amini’s death saying, “If it weren’t for the young woman’s death, they would have used another pretext to provoke unrest and riots at this time.”

The Leader of the Islamic Republic explained that riots also occur in different countries around the world, “But have the US President and Congress ever defended them?”

His Eminence further asked, “Did the Western and Saudi media defend riots in any other country, and provide the rioters with electronic aid.”

Imam Khamenei also focused on the importance of Iran’s armed forces saying, “Weakening the armed forces weakens the country’s security, and whoever attacks the police station or the Basij base attacks the country’s security”.

“They leaving Iranian citizens defenseless against thugs, robbers and extortionists,” the Leader added.

Elsewhere in his speech, Imam Khamenei spoke of the Baloch people and their loyalty to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“The Kurdish people are among the most developed Iranian peoples and they care about their country, Islam and the state so the enemy’s scheme is doomed to fail,” the Leader further said.

“The Faithful and brave nation of Iran will be the first to stand against future plots by the enemies,” His Eminence concluded.


The exchange of prisoners and the release of Iranian funds.. unilateral negotiations with nuclear backgrounds between Tehran and Washington
The Iranian guide accuses Washington of the eleven o’clock bulletin |


Sayyed Nasrallah: Critical Days in Maritime Demarcation File, Iran Stronger than Ever

October 2, 2022

By Al-Ahed news

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Saturday a speech commemorating the memory of Sayyed Mohammad Ali Al-Amin.

As he praised the noble traits of the late cleric, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled that “The true history of our countries and nations is known through our clerics.”

His Eminence further urged collective efforts to preserve our history as “Much of what has been written is an imagined and assumed history.”

“His Eminence lived the incidents including the establishment of the usurping entity, the displacement of Palestinian people, the 1967 war and the successive ‘Israeli’ aggressions on Lebanon, the latest of which was the 206 aggression,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

On the same level, the Resistance Leader called for preserving the blessing of the Resistance. “We must not be affected with the voices that don’t suggest any other alternative,” he added, noting that “The current sense of security and dignity in the south was a victory created in Lebanon and by its people.

Denouncing the fact that “There are no values, ethics or international law in this world, which is governed by the law of the jungle,” His Eminence reminded that “The calmness the people enjoy today, especially the southerners, has been made in Lebanon at the hands of the men of Resistance; this Resistance has presented tangible victories and achievements.”

Moving to the Palestinian front, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “The Palestinians have no choice other than resistance as they have turned desperate from negotiations while the Resistance in the West Bank, Gaza, and all regions is rising.”

On the maritime demarcation negotiations with “Israel”, he considered that the written proposal that was presented to the Lebanese presidencies forms a “a very important step.”

“Following months of political, field, and media resistance, today the Lebanese heads of state received the written proposal on the issue of the maritime border demarcation,” His Eminence clarified, pointing out that “The importance of what happened today is that there is a written text and not just mere words.”

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that “We’ll be facing a decisive week on the level of the maritime border demarcation between Lebanon and the occupied Palestine as the Lebanese authorities prepare their response to an offer that could “open up wide horizons for the Lebanese people.”

“We can extract our resources when we benefit from our strength and unity. We hope that things finally turn good in favor of Lebanon and all the Lebanese people; which in case achieved will open wide horizons to the people of Lebanon. When we stand together and use our available elements of strength we can reach good results,” he added.

He further mentioned that if a deal was reached, it wouldn’t be a result of the US and “Israeli” “generosity” but rather the result of “Lebanon’s strength”.

Regarding the internal Lebanese front, Hezbollah Secretary General viewed that “Holding the session to vote on electing a President of the Republic was an important issue and the turnout confirms what we have been saying that no political alliance in Lebanon possesses the majority.”

“Thursday’s parliamentary session stressed that those who want to elect a president for Lebanon must shun the approach of confrontation and the presidents and candidates of confrontation,” he elaborated.

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah wondered “How would a country be run by a president who wants to challenge a major part of the Lebanese people given the deep crisis in the country and the global developments?”

He, thus, urged the political forces to “consult among each other and activate their contacts in the coming period in order to reach a choice the enjoys a majority in parliament.”

“We are short on time regarding the formation of the Lebanese government,” The resistance Leader warned, adding that “The illegal emigration on the boats of death is almost a crime, and we call on serious and judicial investigation on this level.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah cautioned that “The state of ‘Daesh’ [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist ‘ISIS’ group] has collapsed, but ‘Daesh’ as a scheme, organization, and tool still exist.”

“The extent of the US breach of Daesh is huge and a big part of this organization has been transferred to Afghanistan where we are witnessing what is taking place there,” he elaborated.

Moving to the Iranian scene, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that “The United States exploits any incident in Iran in order to provoke the nation against the Islamic establishment, the latest of which is the protests that have broken out following Ms. Amini’s tragic death.”

He also lamented the fact that “The world was moved because an Iranian lady who died in unclear circumstances but turned a blind eye to 50 martyrs in Afghanistan.”

“US-backed vandals took advantage of the unclear circumstances surrounding her death to challenge the Islamic Republic after their so-called campaign of maximum pressure dismally failed,” he said, recalling that “‘Daesh’ was made by the US, and the US intelligence apparatuses are still protecting, facilitating its funding, and transferring more members to it.”

His Eminence went on to warn that “The aim behind imposing sanctions on Iran is to incite the people against the Islamic regime, as it is in Lebanon to incite the people against the Resistance.”

According to Sayyed Nasrallah, “The US’ cruel sanctions against Iranians were meant to pit the people against the Islamic state. The successive US administrations have realized that Iran is a strong, dignified and capable country; and that explains why it doesn’t dare to wage a war on the country and restores to agitating internal disputes.”

“Iran enjoys great capabilities, so the US uses all tools to incite provocations against the Islamic Republic. Western and Gulf media outlets are working to incite the Iranian people against the Islamic state, he said, noting that “The US administrations have established troll armies across social media platforms to undermine Iran, but all to no avail.”

“The global media viewed those who took to the streets in the recent events as the Iranian people, but when millions took to the streets in support of the Islamic regime they turned silent, he stressed.

However, His Eminence assured that “All the schemes are unable to harm the Islamic Republic of Iran because of the nation’s readiness to make sacrifices. It is enough for those fools to watch the Iranian people’s commemorations of the different occasions, and the historic funeral of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani to see the will of the Iranian people. The blessed Islamic Republic of Iran is stronger and braver than ever. The Islamic Republic, with its Leader and people, could not be defeated

“Iran does not have any colonial intentions in the Middle East region. The Islamic Republic cannot be defeated, and holding bitter enmity towards it will cause huge losses for the entire Muslim world,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

He also criticized some Iraqi groups for forgetting about the tremendous and heroic sacrifices made by General Qassem Soleimani: “How would the Iraqis befriend Saudi Arabia that sent 5000 suicide bombers to their country? How would the Iraqis forget Iran’s support with arms and money to defend Iraq against ‘Daesh’? Hadn’t been for Iran after the ‘Camp David Agreement’, where would Palestine and al-Quds have been? And where would have Lebanon and ‘Israel’ been?”

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Decoding the Pentagon’s online war against Iran

October 01 2022

From a click of a button in the US to violence on the streets of Tehran, the latest protests in Iran are being engineered and provoked from outside.
Photo Credit: The Cradle


By Kit Klarenburg

The civil unrest in Iran in response to the recent death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was waiting at a Tehran police station, although rooted in legitimate grievances, also bears the hallmark of a western-sponsored covert war, covering multiple fronts.

Mere days after the protests erupted on 16 September, the Washington Post revealed that the Pentagon had initiated a wide-ranging audit of all its online psyops efforts, after a number of bot and troll accounts operated by its Central Command (CENTCOM) division – which covers all US military actions in West Asia, North Africa and South and Central Asia – were exposed, and subsequently banned by major social networks and online spaces.

The accounts were busted in a joint investigation carried out by social media research firm Graphika, and the Stanford Internet Observatory, which evaluated “five years of pro-Western covert influence operations.”

Published in late August, it attracted minimal English-language press coverage at the time, but evidently was noticed, raising concerns at the highest levels of the US government, prompting the audit.

While the Washington Post ludicrously suggested the government’s umbrage stemmed from CENTCOM’s egregious, manipulative activities which could compromise US “values” and its “moral high ground,” it is abundantly clear that the real problem was CENTCOM being exposed.


CENTCOM’s geographical purview includes Iran, and given the Islamic Republic’s longstanding status as a key US enemy state, it’s perhaps unsurprising that a significant proportion of the unit’s online disinformation and psychological warfare efforts were directed there.

A key strategy employed by US military psyops specialists is the creation of multiple sham media outlets publishing content in Farsi. Numerous online channels were maintained for these platforms, spanning Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and even Telegram.

In some cases too, fake journalists and pundits, with numerous “followers” on those platforms emerged, along with profile photos created via artificial intelligence.

For example, Fahim News claimed to provide “accurate news and information” on events in Iran, prominently publishing posts declaring “the regime uses all of its efforts to censor and filter the internet,” and encouraging readers to stick to online sources as a result.

Meanwhile, Dariche News claimed to be an “independent website unaffiliated with any group or organization,” committed to providing “uncensored and unbiased news” to Iranians within and without the country, in particular information on “the destructive role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in all the affairs and issues of Iran and the region.”

Their respective YouTube channels pumped out numerous short-form videos, presumably in the hope they would be mistaken for organic content, and go viral on other social networks. The researchers identified one instance in which media outlets elsewhere had embedded Dariche News content into articles.

An army of bots and trolls

Some of the fake news organizations published original material, but much of their output was recycled content from US government-funded propaganda outfits such as Radio Farda and Voice of America Farsi.

They also repurposed and shared articles from the British-based Iran International, which appears to receive arm’s length funding from Saudi Arabia, as did several fake personas attached to these outlets.

These personas frequently posted non-political content, including Iranian poetry and photos of Persian food, in order to increase their authenticity. They also engaged with real Iranians on Twitter, often joking with them about internet memes.

Pentagon bots and trolls used different narrative techniques and approaches in an attempt to influence perceptions and engender engagement. A handful promoted “hardliner” views, criticizing the Iranian government for insufficiently hawkish foreign policy while being excessively reformist and liberal domestically.

One such bogus user, a purported “political science expert,” accrued thousands of followers on Twitter and Telegram by posting content praising Shia Islam’s growing power in West Asia, while other “hardliner” accounts praised the late General Qassem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), slain in an illegal US drone strike in January 2020, as a martyr, and encouraged the wearing of hijabs.

The researchers state the purpose of these efforts was unclear, although an obvious explanation is the Pentagon sought to foster anti-government discontent among conservative Iranians, while creating lists of local “extremists” to monitor online.

Orchestrated opposition

Overwhelmingly though, Pentagon-linked accounts were viciously critical of the Iranian government, and the IRGC. Numerous Pentagon bots and trolls sought to blame food and medicine shortages on the latter, which was likened to ISIS, and posting videos of Iranians protesting and looting supermarkets captioned in Pashto, English, and Urdu.

More sober posts criticized Tehran for redistributing much-needed food to give to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, while others highlighted embarrassing incidents, such as a reported power outage that caused the country’s chess team to lose an international online tournament.

Furthermore, multiple fake users claimed to seek “justice for the victims of #Flight752”, referring to the Ukraine International Airlines flight accidentally shot down by the IRGC in January 2020.

Using hashtags such as #PS752 and #PS752justice hundreds of times, they blamed Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei personally for the incident.

Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February, these accounts used Persian versions of widely-trending hashtags #No_To_Putin and #No_To_War – themselves overwhelmingly disseminated on Twitter by pro-Ukraine bot and troll accounts, according to separate research.

The users condemned Khamenei’s verbal support of Putin and accused Iran of supplying drones to Moscow, which it was claimed were used to kill civilians.

They also pushed the narrative that Iran’s collusion with Russia would result in adverse political and economic repercussions for Tehran, while making unflattering comparisons between Khamenei and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“One has sold Iran to Russia and ordered their peoples’ murder,” one account tweeted. “The other is wearing a combat uniform alongside his people and has stopped the colonization of Ukraine by Russia with all his might.”

Scattershot fury

There were also cloak-and-dagger initiatives intended to damage Iran’s standing in neighboring countries, and undermine its regional influence. Much of this work seems to have been concerned with spreading panic and alarm, and creating a hostile environment for Iranians abroad.

For instance, accounts targeting audiences in Afghanistan claimed that Quds Force personnel were infiltrating Kabul posing as journalists in order to crush opposition to the Taliban. They also published articles from a US military-linked website that claimed on the basis of zero evidence that the bodies of dead refugees who’d fled to Iran were being returned to their families back home with missing organs.

Yet another damaging false narrative perpetuated by this cluster in late 2021 and early 2022 was that the IRGC was forcing Afghan refugees to join militias fighting in Syria and Yemen, and that those who refused were being deported.

Iraq was a country of particular interest to the Pentagon’s cyber warriors, with memes widely shared throughout Baghdad and beyond depicting IRGC influence in the country as a destructive disease, and content claiming Iraqi militias, and elements of the government, were effective tools of Tehran, fighting to further Iran’s imperial designs over the wider West Asia.

Militias were also accused of killing Iraqis in rocket strikes, engineering droughts by damaging water supply infrastructure, smuggling weapons and fuel out of Iraq and into Syria, and fuelling the country’s crystal meth epidemic.

Another cluster of Pentagon accounts focused on Iran’s involvement in Yemen, publishing content on major social networks critical of the Ansarallah-led de-facto government in Sanaa, accusing it of deliberately blocking humanitarian aid deliveries, acting as an unquestioning proxy of Tehran and Hezbollah, and closing bookstores, radio stations, and other cultural institutions.

Several of their posts blamed Iran for the deaths of civilians via landmine, on the basis Tehran may have supplied them.

Laying the ground

Other CENTCOM psychological warfare (psywar) narratives have direct relevance to the protests that have engulfed Iran.

There was a particular focus among one group of bots and trolls on women’s rights. Dozens of posts compared Iranian women’s opportunities abroad with those in Iran – one meme on this theme contrasted photos of an astronaut with a victim of violent spousal abuse – while others promoted protests against the hijab.

Alleged government corruption and rising living costs were also recurrently emphasized, particularly in respect of food and medicine – production of which in Iran is controlled by the IRGC, a fact CENTCOM’s online operatives repeatedly drew attention to.

Women’s rights, corruption, and the cost of living – the latter of which directly results from suffocating US sanctions – are all key stated motivating factors for the protesters.

Despite the rioters’ widespread acts of violence and vandalism, targeted at civilians and authorities alike, such as the destruction of an ambulance ferrying police officers away from the scene of a riot, they also claim to be motivated by human rights concerns.

Establishment and fringe journalists and pundits have dismissed as conspiracy theories, any suggestions that protests in Iran and beyond are anything other than organic and grassroots in nature.

Yet, clear proof of foreign direction and sponsorship abounds, not least in the very public face of the anti-hijab movement, Masih Alinejad, who for many years has encouraged Iranian women to ceremonially burn their headscarves from the confines of an FBI safehouse in New York City, then publicizes the images online, which travel round the world and back via social media and mainstream news outlets.

A regime-change war by other means

Alinejad’s activities have generated a vast amount of fawning and credulous media coverage, without a single journalist or outlet questioning whether her prominent role in the supposedly grassroots, locally-initiated protest movement is affiliated with foreign hostile interference.

This is despite Alinejad posing for photos with former CIA director Mike Pompeo, and receiving a staggering $628,000 in US federal government contracts since 2015.

Much of these funds flowed from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US government agency that oversees propaganda platforms such as Radio Free Europe, and Voice of America, the latter of which has produced a Farsi-language show fronted by Alinejad for seven years.

These clusters of social media posts may appear innocuous and authentic in an age of click-bait and viral fake news, yet when aggregated and analysed, they form a potent and potentially dangerous weapon which it turns out is one of many in the Pentagon’s regime-change arsenal.

Iran contained protests, Washington’s efforts failed: Israeli Media

24 Sep 2022 23:52

Source: Israeli Media & Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli media reports that “the authorities in Iran have succeeded in damping down the protests,” and that “Washington’s efforts have not worked.”

A pro-Islamic revolution protest in Iran

Israeli media reported that “the authorities in Iran succeeded in damping down the wave of protests, as there is a very clear decline in their size and strength,” noting that “the US efforts have not worked.” 

Earlier on Saturday, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported that the protests in Iran went down by 90% all over the Islamic Republic by Friday night, attributing the decrease to pro-government protestors that took to the street in light of nationwide anti-government protests. 

MidEast analyst for Channel 2 Ehud Yaari said, “Unfortunately, the authorities in Iran succeeded in quelling the wave of protests in Iranian cities, which included attacks against government centers and attacks with Molotov cocktails against the Basij forces who were dispersing the protests.”

“The Americans are making efforts to activate the internet, after the Iranian authorities imposed an internet blackout to disrupt social networks, but this did not help, and we see a very clear decline in the size and strength of the protests,” he added.

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi stated on Friday that some social networking sites took an active role in directing the riots and igniting the fires, adding that many elements of the riots were the result of training received using these sites.

Vahidi then went on to announce that the ministry decided to put temporary restrictions on social networking sites to “maintain security and the safety of the people.”

Subsequently, the US Department of the Treasury issued a license expanding the provision of internet services to Iran despite the US sanctions on the country.

Tehran: Efforts to violate Iran’s sovereignty will not go unanswered

Commenting on the US measures, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Saturday, that the United States “has always sought to target Iran’s security and stability, but it has always failed to do so.” 

“By reducing the severity of some sanctions related to communications, while maintaining its maximum pressure, the United States is seeking in a hypocritical manner to pass its anti-Iran goals,” he added, stressing that “the efforts to violate Iran’s sovereignty will not go unanswered.” 

Mass protests took place in Tehran and Iranian cities, on Friday, raising slogans in support of the Islamic Republic and rejecting the riots that took advantage of the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini. The protests resulted in deaths and injuries among the security forces and civilians.

Read: Mahsa Amini’s father breaks silence: Protest “not for our sake”

Kanaani commented on the US and European interventions in the case of the Iranian young woman Mahsa Amini, tweeting, “With a despicable human rights record both at home & abroad, how does the US have the audacity to give itself higher moral ground to lecture the world?”

Iran witnessed demonstrations denouncing the death of the young woman, while the Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran Province said Wednesday that there were no traces of beating or wounds on the head and face of the late Iranian Mahsa Amini.

The Iranian police published CCTV footage documenting the last moments of Mahsa Amini at the police station. The Tehran police said the footage proved that the 22-year-old was not subjected to any violence or physical abuse.

Watch: Western media promoted Iranophobia after death of Mahsa Amini

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Tehran reminds US of its own killings by race, provides proof

 September 23, 2022

Iran, through its Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, calls US human rights records despicable and slams claims on human rights abuses in the country as baseless.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani

The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the US Secretary of State’s claims on human rights issues in Iran and slammed them as baseless, reminding the US of its own record of killings and human rights abuses committed racially, with Black people making the majority of those killed.

Following how the West, spearheaded by the US, took advantage of the death of Mahsa Amini, claiming that it was the result of a brutal arrest by the Iranian police, and the fact that the western and Arab-monarchy-backed media outlets quickly jumped to the trend of covering anti-Iran protests, picturing them as large rallies, when in fact, they included far fewer numbers than depicted, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani reminded the US of its “despicable” human rights record across the world. 

“With a despicable human rights record both at home & abroad, how does the US have the audacity to give itself higher moral ground to lecture the world?” Kanaani tweeted on Friday.

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No traces of beating, internal bleeding found on Amini’s body: Report

21 Sep 2022 22:53

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran Province says the autopsy conducted on Mahsa Amini’s body revealed no bleeding or rupture in her internal organs.

A still image from Iranian CCTV showing Mahsa Amini

    The Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran Province said Wednesday that there are no traces of beating or wounds on the head and face of the late Iranian Mahsa Amini.

    “Concerning the misleading information about blood coming out of Amini’s ears and a fracture at the base of her skull, we, forensic doctors, confirm that there are no signs of bruising or swelling on her eye and no fracture in her skull either,” the Director General said. 

    The forensic report showed that there are no signs of skull fracture, and the autopsy conducted on Amini’s body revealed no bleeding or rupture of her internal organs.

    According to the Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran, more time is needed to find the actual cause of Amini’s death in order to issue a final report based on the results of the analysis of the taken samples.

    It is worth noting that “Mahsa Amini underwent a brain surgery in a hospital in Tehran in 2006,” as revealed by the Director General. 

    It is noteworthy that Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian pointed out Tuesday that “an investigation was ordered into the tragic death of Mahsa, who, as the President said, was just like our own daughters.”

    According to the Iranian Minister, “to Iran, human rights are of inherent value unlike those who see it a tool against adversaries,” hinting at the US.

    Mahsa Amini is a 22-year-old Iranian whose case has been exploited by several Western media outlets in order to further promote Iranophobia by fabricating lies and making use of her medical condition that led to her death merely for political purposes.

    Mainstream and social media outlets were swarmed with trumped-up news, as some media outlets, mostly Western, claimed that an alleged brutal arrest led to the death of Amini. 

    Following the incident, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called Amini’s family, confirming that he had ordered the incident to be investigated carefully.

    “Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel that this incident happened to one of my loved ones. Please accept my condolences,” Raisi told Amini’s family.

    Earlier, Iranian Judiciary Chief, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, stressed that the judiciary will closely investigate the case of Amini’s death, assuring her family that he has ordered the judicial bodies to carry out a thorough investigation of the case.

    The story as it is

    After contacting several official sources in Iran, Al Mayadeen learned that Amini was never assaulted, beaten, or abused, and the proof was CCTV footage that slammed western reports as fake and fabricated.

    The incident, recorded by the CCTV, shows a female police officer approaching Amini and pointing at her hijab. Amini and the officer entered into a verbal disagreement, after which the officer turned around and left Amini alone.

    At this point, and without any physical altercation taking place between the two – contrary to western media reports which claimed that Amini was brutally beaten – Amini fainted and it was later reported that she fell into a coma. The police officer can be seen rushing to support Amini to prevent her from falling. Amini was then transferred to the hospital for treatment. 

    The video shows that there was no violence and no beating whatsoever and that not even an arrest was made. Official sources told Al Mayadeen that Amini had a brain tumor and that she has been undergoing treatment for some time prior to the incident. Medical records confirm Amini’s multiple visits to the hospital for treatment.

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