Since the Iranian Regime’s inception, its leaders have set their sights on infiltrating prominent Western media outlets that were once lauded for journalistic independence. Now, these news outlets are being taken over by assets of the Iranian Regime, previously employed in Iran’s state-controlled media, who portray the false narrative of mullahs as victims of US aggression or repeatedly claim, without evidence, that the US and Iran are on the road to war.
However, these propaganda agents are not just content with attacking the US. In fact, their real mission is to go after the group that is far more threatening to the Iranian Regime: the democratic opposition of Iran, who are calling for regime change and basic freedoms for the Iranian people.
This means that Western media outlets, like Al-Jazeera English and Britain’s Channel 4 News, are filled with “articles” from people repackaging the Iranian Regime’s talking points.
How do they do it?
The Regime’s plot has mainly worked through intense control of the media in Iran, only allowing certain foreign outlets to visit. These outlets are normally assisted while there by apprentices from the Intelligence Ministry posing as translators and the like. Importantly, all Iranian people that wish to work with foreign journalists need permits from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and these are not given to people critical of the Regime.
A relationship often develops between the journalist and the intelligence agents, especially if the agent can help them interview hard-to-get subjects. Those agents who particularly impress the Regime will be sent abroad, potentially to work with the outlet they assisted, and push the Regime’s narrative in what the public believes may be a reputable news source.
What do these agents write in the press?
As you might expect, they rarely mention human rights abuses in Iran, the effectiveness of sanctions, how regime change is on the cards, or how the democratic opposition in advancing grassroots change by planning protests. Instead, they tell numerous lies with no evidence to support them, including:
– sanctions will harm ordinary Iranians rather than the regime
– US support for protesters will increase support for the mullahs
– Iran’s democratic opposition is a “cult” that tortures its own members
The latest piece of Regime propaganda was a 6,600-word piece by Arron Reza Merat in The Guardian that accused Iran’s democratic opposition of brainwashing members, torturing ex-members, harassing female staff, suppressing Iraqi Kurds on behalf of Saddam Hussein, and killing Iranian nuclear scientists with the help of Israel. All credible evidence shows this to be false, but when the Regime starts a fire, it can be hard to clear the smoke without being accused of arson.
Numerous other outlets carried similar stories aimed at discrediting the opposition in the West because the Regime knows that brave people fighting for democracy represent the best chance for the Iranian people to overthrow the Regime.
Ivan Sheehan, director of the graduate programs in Negotiation and Conflict Management and Global Affairs and Human Security in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, wrote: “These pro-Iran writers and their syndicates are not ordinary journalists; they are PR agents for a regime that jails reporters, censors free media expression, and enslaves a restless nation. Speaking up for an independent press should include exposing Tehran’s influence operations in Western media outlets and the foreign agents who traffic in disinformation. The failure to do so threatens journalistic independence and compromises values essential to a free press.”
Source » ncr-iran