Fars News Agency

Fars News Agency is closely affiliated with the IRGC and has provided special intelligence reports to Hossein Salami

Status:Top Alert – Entity designated / sanctioned for terror, WMD and human rights violation

Risk Level:99%

May harm your business future. Persons or entities that engage in transactions with this entity will be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action.

Working with this entity means supporting Iranian Regime, Regime Terrorist Activities & development of WMD

Fars News Agency is closely affiliated with the IRGC and has provided special intelligence reports to Hossein Salami. Fars News Agency closely coordinated with the Basij Resistance Force (Basij) deputy commander on ongoing Iranian domestic concerns. The Basij, a paramilitary force subordinate to the IRGC, was designated pursuant to E.O. 13553 on June 9, 2011 for its involvement in the violent crackdowns and serious human rights abuses occurring in Iran following the disputed June 2009 presidential election. Fars News Agency was also founded by Hamidreza Moghadam Far, and its board of directors is chaired by Mohammad Mehdi Sayyari Zahan, the U.S.-designated deputy head of the IRGC Intelligence Organization.

Payam Tirandaz is the CEO of Fars News Agency, a former member of the Basij, and a former employee of IRIB. Payam Tirandaz plays a pivotal role in Fars News Agency’s support to the IRGC’s malign activities

Fars News Agency is being designated pursuant to E.O 13553, for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of the IRGC. Payam Tirandaz is being designated for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Fars News Agency.

Fars News is an IRGC-affiliated wire service launched in 2003 that produces articles and videos in Farsi, Arabic, Turkish, and English. Like Tasnim, Fars News is not under the IRIB chain of command but is nevertheless a state-controlled news agency. In 2007, the Iranian news site Tabnak revealed that the IRGC funds Fars News. Hamidreza Moghadamfar, the CEO of Fars News from 2007 to 2011, was the IRGC’s former director of cultural-social affairs. After working at Fars News, Moghadamfar became an advisor to the commander of the IRGC and rose to the rank of second brigadier general. Moghadamfar’s successor, Seyyed Nizam-al-Din Mousavi, was formerly the head of the political office of the Basij Student Organization at the University of Tehran. The Basij is an IRGC-linked paramilitary force. Under Mousavi, Fars News launched a campaign to investigate IRGC rivals and actively recruited Iranian celebrities, such as Iranian singer Amir Tataloo, to support the IRGC. Payam Tirandaz, a veteran of the Basij, became the CEO of Fars News in 2017, replacing Mousavi.

According to Saeed Ghasseminejad, senior advisor on Iran at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, every individual who has held a leadership position in Fars News has been a member of the IRGC.

Bijan Moghadam was the first editor-in-chief of the Fars News Agency. Moghadam is a known principlist media figure who has held key positions in several hardline principlist media outlets.

Tabnak revealed that the IRGC was funding Fars News, one of the worst-kept secrets in Iran.

Moghadamfar, currently an advisor to the commander of the IRGC, was Fars News CEO from 2007 to 2011 and director of the cultural-social affairs at the IRGC between 1390 and 1393. Moghadamfar is a member of the IRGC, and his latest known rank at the IRGC is second brigadier general.

Moghadamfar led Fars News at a critical point. Fars was at the forefront of psychological warfare against the regime’s opponents after the Green Revolution in 2009. For example, Fars along with the IRIB pushed the false narrative that Neda Agha Soltan, a young Iranian women shot and killed by security forces during the 2009 protests, was murdered by foreign intelligence services in a complex operation. Her death, recorded by smartphone, became a symbol of the regime’s brutality and repression.

Fars News led the charge against Ahmadinejad’s team and published various reports targeting the members of his team. In 2011, Mousavi cheered the arrest of Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Ahmadinejad’s chief media advisor and head of the IRNA. Javanfekr, a member of the upper crust of the hardline journalists, had years of personal relation with Ali Khamenei. Javanfekr’s arrest was a strong signal to Ahmadinejad and his supporters that their revolutionary past will not save them from persecution. When Rouhani came to power, Fars News published investigative reports on corruption among members of Rouhani’s cabinet, including his brother.

Mousavi also invested significantly in Fars News’ foreign language operation. Mousavi used Fars to launch the careers of many Iranian conspiracy theorists and create a network of anti-Israel, connect anti-U.S., and pro-Tehran figures outside of Iran. Under Mousavi, Fars heavily covered people such as Hassan Abbasi and Ali Akbar Raeghipour. The former calls himself the Kissinger of Islam while the latter calls himself a warrior in the holy struggle against Zionism, humanism, and freemasonry. Mousavi has lent his support to the New Horizon Organization, which hosts international conferences aimed at collecting intelligence and recruiting foreign agents for the IRGC Quds Force, and its chairman, Nader Talebzadeh. The United States sanctioned both in February 2019.

Mousavi also pushed principlists to reach out to the younger generation. Backed by the IRGC, Mousavi tried to recruit celebrities to support the IRGC and its policies, such as the intervention in Syria. He even managed to get Amir Hossein Maghsoulou, known as Amir Tataloo, an Iranian singer popular among teens, to support Ebrahim Raisi in his 2017 presidential bid.

In 2017, Payam Tirandaz replaced Mousavi as the new CEO of Fars News. Mousavi joined Raisi’s team as the head of the public relation office of Astan Quds Razavi, a foundation tied to Khamenei. Raisi, who was tapped this year as the chief justice of Iran, is the frontrunner to succeed Khamenei as the next supreme leader of the Islamic Republic.

Payam Tirandaz

Tirandaz became CEO of Fars News in 2017. Tirandaz, is a veteran of Basij. He is one of the co-founders of Shabake Khabar Daneshjo, a student news organization backed by Basij. In the 2000s, Shabake Khabar Daneshjou played a critical role in the regime’s disinformation campaign against Iran’s student movement. Tirandaz also has also worked for IRIB. Under Tirandaz, Fars News continues on the path paved by Mousavi as the key distributor of the disinformation campaigns planned by the IRGC.

Almost all the men who built and ran Fars News have been members of the IRGC. The agency’s CEOs have come and gone, but its mission has remained unchanged: defending the IRGC from the perceived enemies of the revolution. Fars News revolutionized the revolutionary guards’ propaganda and disinformation operation. It also radically altered the county’s media landscape by making the IRGC a major player and launching the career of thousands of hardline revolutionary journalists. The rise of Revolutionary Guards gave birth to Fars News, and Fars’ growth boosted the IRGC’s rise.

Also Known As:
(Arabic: خبرگزاری فارس)
(Arabic: مؤسسه فرهنگی خبرگزاری فارس)

Organization Established Date:
26 Oct 1998


Number 1, Shahrood Alley, Ferdowsi Square, Tehran 115999346717, Iran


National ID No.:
10100426798 (Iran)

Registration Number:
10581 (Iran)

Reason for the color:
» Added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on September 15, 2023 pursuant to Executive Order 13553, for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of the IRGC;