Fake news MSM supporting the regime in Iran

By Heshmat Alavi

March 26, 2020—You know the regime in Iran is desperate when a variety of MSM outlets, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today rush to the mullahs’ support with articles by their editorial boards calling on the Trump administration to lift sanctions. USA TODAY falls as low as providing a platform for Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, while describing him as an “Opinion contributor.”

Let’s begin by taking a look at The New York Times piece.

“Demonstrating compassion in times of crisis is good foreign policy,” NYT argues. When correctly translated into plain English, this means let’s return to the Obama-style full-throttle appeasement of this regime and provide it with financial incentives with the knowledge that the money will never be used to support the Iranian people.

NYT says: “Iran has appealed to the International Monetary Fund for $5 billion in emergency funding and a long list of essential equipment…”

Of course, NYT will not tell its readers that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sits on a vast economic empire worth at least $95 billion dollars, according to Reuters. Back in April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad estimated that Khamenei owns assets worth about $200 billion.

If Iran needs “emergency funding” to provide for “a long list of essential equipment,” why does it not simply tap into Khamenei’s own billions? And where is the guarantee that Tehran will not be spending this money to fuel its malign purposes?

FDD
Iran’s regime has been known to prop the murders Assad killing machine in Syria along with numerous other terrorist militia extremist groups checkered across the Middle East (Credit: FDD)

Back in 2016 former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry said they realized after the 2015 nuclear deal that some of the generated money would be used by Iran’s mullahs to fuel their terrorist groups. Of course, if Kerry were to honest, he would have said all of that money would be used to fuel Iran’s malign objectives, such as boosting its domestic crackdown machine, supporting terrorism, further developing ballistic missiles, and continuing its clandestine drive to obtain nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, back in July 2019, the chief of staff of Iran’s president himself wrote a letter saying that one billion euros ($1.12 billion) in hard currency allocated for importing medicines and essential goods “has disappeared.” And NYT expect us to trust this regime with a $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund?

It is also worth noting that Iranian regime officials stole more than $1 billion in humanitarian funds meant to be used to help the country’s people fight the spread of coronavirus, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Furthermore, despite the coronavirus crisis in Iran, Tehran-backed militia groups in Iraq are continuing their attacks against U.S. forces. Of course, NYT would never mention that and would never call on the mullahs’ regime to allocate the funds used by these terrorist groups to provide for the Iranian people.

NYT goes on to cite an October 2019 report by the Human Rights Watch to further its argument about U.S. sanctions constraining the Iranian regime’s ability “to finance humanitarian imports, including medicines.” What NYT will not tell you is that the HRW report was a parroting of Tehran’s lies and talking points already easily debunked.

Furthermore, the report was compiled by Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, who has recently joined the Quincy Institute, a think tank co-founded by Trita Parsi, the founder of NIAC, Iran’s DC-based lobby group. Parsi has always been fond of Whitson’s work as she runs Tehran’s talking points and diverts attention away from the mullahs’ atrocious human rights violations. Whitson’s recent controversial remarks also caused quite a stir that forced her into an embarrassing apology.

NYT argues that “the United States should be at the forefront of offering what help it can.” What NYT will not tell its readers that the U.S. did offer help and Tehran has ruled out help from “foreign forces” in dealing with the coronavirus epidemic. Tehran even kicked out a team of Médecins Sans Frontières, but NYT won’t tell you that either.

Why would Tehran kick out a team of foreign doctors seeking to provide help to its COVID-19 crisis?

Simple. The mullahs cannot risk foreign doctors inside Iran seeing the truth of the Iranian people left without adequate support and realizing the astronomical death toll and number of cases. It would reveal to the world that Tehran is lying about its death toll, the number of cases and how it is not providing any decent support for the 80+ millions of Iranians during this crisis.

NYT further argues “American generosity might be the best way of persuading Iran to release American and other foreign detainees.” Such a measure would justify Iran’s illegal apprehension and hostage taking of American and other foreign nationals, encouraging the mullahs to continue with this practice to gain further incentives in the future.

But of course, there is nothing wrong with that the in the eyes of the NYT editorial board. Iran should be held accountable for taking American and other foreign nationals as hostages and using them as foreign policy bargaining chips. The NYT editorial board should be ashamed of such hideous remarks.

In its argument, NYT cites a Foreign Policy magazine piece by Robert Malley and Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group. Malley is a former Obama administration official pushing for a return to appeasing the mullahs’ regime. Vaez is a known Iranian regime apologist parroting Tehran’s talking points whenever possible.

NYT will not tell you that Vaez has very close ties to senior Iranian regime leadership. This is him with former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who was very close to the mullahs’ regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ali Vaez with Rafsanjani
Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group with former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (now dead)

There is good reason why NYT will continue pushing the Iranian regime’s talking points. This thread sheds light on NYT’s direct ties to Tehran and a state-run outlet of the mullahs.

WaPo

The Washington Post also published an editorial piece calling on the U.S. to lift its sanctions on Iran. The post claims the United States is being blamed by ordinary Iranians for making it more difficult for authorities to combat the epidemic. Yet the Post provides no source for such a claim.

The Post goes on to cite an NYT piece written by Narges Bajoghli of Johns Hopkins University and Mahsa Rouhi of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, two known Iran apologists/lobbyists that have been criticized for pushing Tehran’s talking points. Of course, WaPo will not mention anything about Bajoghli and Rouhi’s ties to Tehran’s lobby.

WaPo argues for the U.S. to greenlight the IMF providing a $5 billion loan to Iran, citing the fact that the “regime has already paroled one of the U.S. citizens it had been holding in its prisons.” Following NYT’s footsteps, WaPo is also justifying Tehran’s practice of taking American and foreign nationals hostage. This is truly shameful for any media outlet.

In another low even for WaPo, the article claims U.S. President Trump launched a confrontation with the Iranian regime, and never mentions the fact that Tehran declared war on the U.S. over 40 years ago, ever since its paramilitary forces climbed up the U.S. Embassy walls in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days back in 1979.

USA TODAY

As mentioned before, the USA TODAY actually provided a platform for Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, while describing him as an “Opinion contributor.” Ravanchi used this opportunity to push Tehran’s lies, claiming “Iran’s ability to deal with [coronavirus] in an effective manner is limited due to the unjust U.S. sanctions imposed on the Iranian people.”

Ravanchi also claims: “The U.S. maintains that humanitarian goods are exempt from its extra-territorial sanctions. However, that is not the reality. The financial channel required for facilitating transactions, even for humanitarian commodities, is not available…”

This is a lie. The U.S. Treasury Department specifically indicates: “The United States maintains broad exceptions and authorizations for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran by U.S. and non-U.S. persons, provided such transactions do not involve persons designated in connection with Iran’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), or Iran’s support for international terrorism.”

Ravanchi claims Iran “is actually less equipped to contain Covid-19 than others.”

This is also a lie. Iran’s own state-run English media outlets are claiming “Iran exports medical equipment to Europe” and “Iran exports medical equipment to 55 countries worldwide.”

Some 105 medical equipment produced by 23 Iranian companies are exported to 55 countries across the world, Reza Masaeli, an advisor to the health minister said.

“Currently, a total of 280,000 medical equipment is produced in the country,” Fars quoted Masaeli as saying.

While the pro-appeasement MSM outlets seek a soft approach vis-à-vis Tehran and a return to the Obama years of full-throttle appeasement of the mullahs, this is exactly the time to further pressures on the regime and break its back for good. As an Iranian, I know for certain that such a policy would weaken the mullahs’ regime and be in favor of the Iranian people.

Iran’s mullahs are obviously desperate. The very fact that such a choir of MSM articles are calling for sanctions to be lifted under the bogus pretexts of providing medical supplies is a clear sign that Mr. Trump’s maximum pressure campaign is working. Even a small fracture in this initiative, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said three years of hard work have gone into, would be a desperately needed propaganda victory for Tehran. And as always, MSM is ready to pounce on anything anti-Trump and willing to publish anything of any nature, without providing their readers the truth.

Iran’s IRGC deliberately shot down the Ukraine airliner

On January 8, Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 took from Khomeini International Airport in the Iranian capital Tehran. Just minutes later the plane crashed, leaving all 176 onboard dead as a result.

This tragedy took place on the same night that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) was launching ballistic missiles targeting military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops in response to the killing of IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. military in Baghdad.

During the three days of Tehran’s denial of any wrongdoing, various video footage and images posted on social media raised questions about the plane being shot down and how regime authorities dealt with the issue afterwards, all escalating suspicions of deliberate actions taken to shoot the plane down.

Initial reports from Tehran claimed engine failure. However, “Ukraine’s embassy in Iran dropped an initial reference to engine failure as the cause of a Ukrainian plane crash outside Tehran,” according to Reuters.

Ukraine Int’l Airlines said a Boeing 737-800 involved in a fatal crash in Iran was one of the best planes in its fleet and its pilots were very experienced. No sign anything was wrong before the plane took off, last routinely serviced on January 6, another report adds.

If there was an engine fire the plane would have slowed down and the pilots would have made it back to the airport. The plane kept climbing. Fire suppression systems would have prevented the plane from turning into a ball of fire.

Remember when Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists accidentally shot down MH17 in 2014? The investigation took almost two years to complete, even with a Dutch-led international task force. How can the Iranians claim to have figured out it was engine failure in five minutes?

The plane was flying at 8,000 feet and up 14,000 feet is considered safe altitude. If any incident is to occur, such as decompression inside the plane or anything else, the plane comes to 14,000 feet as it is considered the safest altitude for passenger flights. PS752 was flying at 8,000 feet, making it even safer and easier for the pilots to land the plane in case of an emergency.

It is worth noting that when the plane seeks to land at Khomeini Int’l Airport, when it is in park position, when the plane doors open and even when the stairs are connected to the plane, all these phases are controlled by IRGC units stationed at Khomeini International Airport.

As a result, any claim of the IRGC mistaking the PS752 for a fighter jet or a warplane is ridiculous. Through the entire process the plane is on the flight radars and the IRGC cannot claim human error.

The IRGC claims its units mistook the PS752 for a cruise missile or an American warplane. This is quite impossible as a Boeing 737-800 differs extensively in comparison. And this question comes to mind that how did an American warplane enter Iranian airspace and from what border, decreased its altitude to 8,000 feet above Tehran and the IRGC radar and air defense system suddenly detects it?

A video of two missile launches show the first missile hitting the plane’s wings where the fuel is stored, resulting in a massive fire and explosion. The captain was even able to change direction in an attempt to land the plane when the second missile was fired. This could not have been a human error.

Images from the crash site show shrapnel damage on the wings and fuselage.

Surface to air missiles explode near their target to spray it with shrapnel. This increases the impact ratio significantly. Images from PS752 shows clear signs of shrapnel.

More signs of shrapnel on a motor of the PS752. Notice how the piercing is towards the inner part of the fuselage. The first motor did not explode into pieces, further debunking the engine failure theory.

The second motor of PS752 is also fairly intact. More proof discrediting the engine failure claims.

In February 2019, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 suffered engine failures, yet the pilots were able to land the plane with support from safety standards procedures.

For those unfamiliar with the SA-11 or Buk missile system, it detonates in midair in proximity of the target plane, floods the cockpit with shrapnel and kills the pilots. Passengers die from depressurization and extreme cold as the plane crashes, usually in one piece.

Just think of the SA-11 as a missile system that tracks its target plane and then fires a shotgun blast of shrapnel to the cockpit upon reaching its range. It is not a high-explosive warhead.

The Dutch Safety Board produced this video to explain how the Buk missile system works, and how it crashed flight MH17 in July 2014.

A local took this image near the PS752 crash site clearly shows the control segment of a TOR M1 missile.

In Iran, the IRGC – designated as a “terrorist organization” by the U.S. State Department – has such TOR M1 units at its disposal. (Image from a parade in Iran back in September 2013.)

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“Satellite imagery of the Ukrainian Airways crash site. The site appears to be being cleared by Iranian authorities using bulldozers. Lots of areas have been cleared of debris.”

Why did Iran raze/tamper the evidence? What are they hiding?

Read the words of a Ukrainian inspector at the site of the plane crash.

Pictures-7-8

Iran’s Armed Forces claimed they plane was “unintentionally” hit by a military unit and based on “human error” and that the plane was heading toward a sensitive IRGC site at a dangerous altitude and in the shape of a hostile aircraft.

While Iran’s regime claims the PS752’s flight path was heading toward a sensitive IRGC site, it is worth noting that four other flights had taken the same path from midnight local time prior to PS752’s departure at 6:12am local time.

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On January 8, The New York Times and Reuters quickly cited a “Canadian security source” claiming the plane was “not brought down by a missile” and crashed due to “technical malfunction”, and that “one of the plane’s engines had overheated”.

And pro-Iran regime media outlets quickly picked up the fake news reports.

All signs indicate the IRGC deliberately shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. Ukrainian officials have indicated that they are not ruling out such a scenario. The motive remains a mystery. All the more reason an international investigation is needed on this very sensitive subject.

(Various videos are included below for you to judge for yourself.)

Iran’s back-to-back defeats in Iraq

Following the continuous and escalating uprising by the Iraqi people against the corrupt political apparatus linked to the mullahs’ regime in Iran, Tehran suffered yet another decisive blow recently.

Based on the Iranian regime’s blueprints prepared by none other than Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani, Asaad Al-Eidani, the governor of Basrah Province in southern Iraq was designated as the candidate for the prime ministry post. He enjoyed the support of Iran-linked figures such as Badr Corps chief Hadi Al-Ameri, former prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki and Hashd al-Shaabi chief Falih Fayyadh.

Eidani himself is loathed in Basrah Province for ordering security forces to open fire on demonstrators in the unrest that has engulfed Iraq in the past few months. Al-Ameri, Al-Maliki and Fayyadh are all known for their loyalty to Iran and very close association to Soleimani.

Badr Corps chief Hadi Al-Ameri and IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani in Iraq
Badr Corps chief Hadi Al-Ameri and IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani in Iraq

In response, the Iraqi people refused to back down and launched a new wave protests in cities checkered across southern Iraq. In Nasiriyah, youths were seen torching the governorate office. In Diwaniyah, protesters targeted sites affiliated to groups affiliated to the mullahs’ regime. In Kut, demonstrators were heard chanting, “We don’t want the Iranian Asaad!”

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n the cities of Baghdad, Basrah, Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah, Karbala and Um Al Qasr, protesting youth took the streets and blocked major pathways in a sign of their protests. All protests and demonstrations were specifically describing Asaad as a corrupt and murderous candidate of the mullahs’ regime in Iraq.

As Iraqi demonstrators indicated their resilience and refusal to back down, Tehran’s plot to impose Al-Eidani, their preferred candidate, to the Iraqi people failed miserably. This new development became yet another victory for the Iraqi people’s uprising that has continued since October 25 to this day.

Such a significant setback for Iran in Iraq comes at a time that Tehran’s regime has been going the distance in its efforts seeking to silence the Iraqi people’s uprising and pursuing its own interests. This is especially important for Iran as U.S. sanctions and the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” policy is drying their resources and Tehran needs Iraq as a bridge to decrease these hardships to some extent.

For example, director of customs in Kermanshah Province, in western Iran bordering Iraq, says exports to their western neighbor have decreased 20 to 30 percent during the past nine months alone.

Strategic setbacks

The Iraqi people and especially the courageous youth who refuse to evacuate the protest squares, have delivered six strategic setbacks for the mullahs’ regime in Iraq.

1) Forcing the resignation of Adel Abdul-Mahdi from the prime ministry post despite Iran’s support.

2) Continuing the uprising and launching general strikes resulting in the support of Iraq’s senior religious figures.

3) Defeating all of Tehran’s measures seeking religious legitimacy through the official position of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani against Abdul-Mahdi’s government.

4) Armed tribes entering the city of Nasiriyah and taking control over sites of Iran-backed groups. This defeated the bloody crackdown launched in this city and catapulted the Iraqi uprising into a new phase.

5) The failure of security forces in launching a bloody attack targeting Baghdad’s squares and Sinak Bridge. This plot backfired and resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iraqis rushing to the protest sites and joining the uprising.

6) Iran-linked candidates for the prime ministry post being turned down by the Iraqi people one after another. Asaad Al-Eidani is the latest example.

Iran and the point of no return

These setbacks for Iran’s strategic interests in Iran highlight the following:

  1. a) The Iraqi people have learned that their first and foremost enemy is the regime ruling Iran. This is especially significant as Tehran loses its claimed “support” among Shiites of southern Iraq.
  2. b) The Iraqi people have drawn a line in the sand and refuse to cooperate with any entity linked to Iran’s regime.
  3. c) The demands raised by the Iraqi people are very principled: evicting the Iranian regime from their country and toppling the entire political establishment installed in Iraq by Tehran’s mullahs.
  4. d) The Iranian regime has weakened more than ever before in Iraq, especially with protests flaring in Lebanon, Iraq and the November uprising delivering a major blow to its already weak core inside Iran.

In a retaliation very common from Iran’s regime when cornered, Tehran-backed militia groups in Iraq stand accused of launching a rocket attack on December 27 targeting the K1 military base in northern Iraq. This latest provocative measure left one American civilian contractor dead and several U.S. and Iraqi soldiers wounded.

On December 11, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had warned America would respond decisively if such attacks led to the loss of American lives. What the future holds will be interesting.

Final thoughts

It is also worth noting that the basis of all these setbacks for the mullahs’ regime is the fact that the Iraqi people have come to realize Tehran’s malign plots. During the past 16 years the Iraqi people have witnessed the Iranian regime’s crimes and plundering across their country.

Iran’s regime is now witnessing with its very eyes how its “strategic depth” in Iraq is falling apart. These back to back defeats for its various plots are a signal that measures inside Iran against a very turbulent nation, described as a powder keg, will also end in failure.

Parallel to crippling U.S. sanctions, crises simmering against the mullahs’ interests in Lebanon, Iraq and most importantly inside Iran are all signs of a regime realizing the end is very near.

Iran: How the regime miscalculated the November uprising

Following the December 2017/January 2018 uprising in Iran, the issue of another nationwide protest being in the making has been a constant talking point of senior Iranian officials. Faces from across the regime spectrum have been warning and calling for preparatory measures for some time. And yet the November uprising caught their entire apparatus off guard, signaling the Iranian people’s desire to overthrow the mullahs.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself had time and again warned about a new uprising in 2019, describing the new “sedition” as far more significant. The plot aiming to overthrow the mullahs’ regime in the 2019 uprising was very deep, broad and dangerous in comparison to the Dec 2017/Jan 2018 episode, according to Khamenei.

He was right. The people of Iran, fed up with the mullahs, took to the streets following the November 15 gasoline price hike, challenging the mullahs’ rule in a new round of nationwide protests rocking the very pillars of Khamenei’s regime.

The November uprising reflected the Iranian people’s utter hatred of the mullahs’ rule, using the opportunity to voice their wrath, targeting Khamenei, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the mullahs’ foreign policy and the very foundations that has made life a living hell for tens of millions of Iranians for 40 years and counting.

The November uprising came to life despite the fact that Khamenei had been warning of an outburst in 2019 and the Rouhani cabinet had been paving the path for the gasoline price hike for months. A number of state media outlets were announcing – and thus denying – plans for the price increase a number of times to test public opinion/outrage, and to downgrade the shock imposed on the society through this plan.

Uprising overcomes massive preparations

Following the warnings issued by Khamenei himself and various analyses carried out by the regime’s security apparatus weighing public response, the entire domestic crackdown machine was on high alert prior to the official gasoline price hike announcement. According to senior national security officials, the IRGC, state police, Basij, the intelligence apparatus and other security institutions all believed they could control the population’s outburst.

“It has been two years that we have been discussing the issue of increasing the price of gasoline. We had four scenarios. Several working groups were launched, one being the security-police working group established in the Supreme National Security Council. Another working group was the psychological operations and response committee,” said Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli in a state TV interview on November 26.

“All discussions and analysis were carried out under the supervision of the Intelligence Ministry, considering their experience in overt and covert monitoring. Officials from the IRGC, police and the judiciary were also present… the police across the country were on high alert, and specifically protecting gas stations due to security reasons… the country’s circumstances and the people’s economic conditions were analyzed… stock market officials were missioned to control the entire market. The Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade was ordered to control the prices of goods and services, and especially prevent price increases. The Central Bank was ordered to monitor currency and gold prices,” he added. These remarks by the Interior Minister sheds light on the regime’s grave concerns regarding the overall crisis engulfing their entire apparatus.

Despite all this readiness and the fact that there was no element of surprise for the regime, the Iranian people still delivered a striking blow to the mullahs, with protests reported in 189 cities, dozens of military/security bases attacked, and hundreds of banks torched. The Iranian people consider these banks as symbols of a regime that is constantly plundering their money and resulting in over 80 percent of the population living in utter poverty.

Scale of regime’s violence reflects vulnerability

Khamenei and his regime completely miscalculated the powder keg potential of the Iranian society and the Iranian people’s will to pay the ultimate price on their quest to topple the mullahs. The November uprising literally left the security forces helpless, leaving Khamenei with no choice but ordering a full and complete crackdown by his forces opening direct fire on unarmed protesters.

IRGC chief Hossein Salami compared the uprising scope to the Second World War. “We are engaged in a major global war. This war has begun in our streets,” he said on November 25. It’s quite interesting that his remarks indicate the regime is involved in an ongoing war and does not consider this a matter of the past.

IRGC deputy chief Ali Fadavi also voiced concerns on this dire subject. “During these few days we witnessed a major conspiracy. We are informed about the various aspects of this plot. Not through analysis or news reports. We have precise intelligence that a major conspiracy was in the making,” he said on the same day.

Fadavi’s boasting aside, his remarks do indicate how senior Iranian officials are concerned over the very survival of their regime. The mullahs’ political, economic and social crises are only escalating. With at least 1,029 protesters killed, over 4,000 injured and at least 12,000 behind bars, public rage can be described as a fire burning in the ashes, with enormous potential to flare once again very soon.

The uprising of the impoverished

The first uprising shook the regime in 1999, 20 years after the 1979 revolution. Ten years later, millions took to the streets again in 2009. Eight years later, the Iranian lower class, supposedly being the regime’s base, rushed to the streets and shook the mullahs’ very pillars. Less than two years later, we have witnessed the November uprising with unprecedented proportions, once again by the impoverished. Senior regime officials sounding alarm bells across the board about the nature of the latest protesters, with people rushing to the streets who literally have nothing to lose.

Rest assured the “world war” mentioned by the IRGC chief is not over and Iran will witness an uprising soon. This time, bringing an end to the mullahs’ regime.

What does Iran think about ongoing protests in Iraq?

It goes without saying that the regime in Iran is deeply concerned over the events unfolding in Iraq. This massive popular uprising has not been quelled despite a deadly crackdown that has rendered an overall death toll of nearly 250 in the past month along with several thousands injured.

The Iraqi people, however, are setting fire to offices and headquarters of groups and other entities affiliated to Iran. This includes centers involved in plundering the Iraqi people and corrupt ministries, all leading to calls for the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdil al-Mahdi to resign. Iran’s state TV is running various shows providing the regime’s analysis on Iraq. “The scope of this conspiracy is quite enormous,” one state-linked analyst said.

“The volume of these protests and the expansion of this movement, parallel to the behaviors witnessed in attacks targeting government centers, senior officials, private property, assassinating certain individuals, torching banks, storming and torching governors’ offices, provincial headquarters, ministries, stealing from banks and chants calling for the government to resign, the constitution to be revoked and the government to be annulled… What next? I believe these are far beyond legitimate demands… All these events are taking place between Baghdad and Basra (southern Iraq). All these events, deaths and injuries are between Baghdad and Basra. This means nine Shiite provinces. Do they want to launch a Shiite-Shiite war? It appears the scope of this conspiracy is massive,” the report said.

On Sunday, October 27, in another state TV program focusing on Iraq, concerns were voiced over the protesters’ targeting Iran-backed militia groups. “There are now voices heard among the people calling for the official Iraqi government to resign.

“Iraqi protesters initially called for improvements in public services, employment and a concentrated effort against corruption. As footage was posted online showing direct fire from unknown areas targeting the people, these mercenaries recently assassinated two senior members of the Asaeb movement… In this attack, after unidentified men shot Osam al-Aliyawi, they followed him and his brother, martyring them in a hospital,” the report adds.

It is worth noting that none of the claims raised by the Iranian regime state TV program have been proven and the very tone used is quite obvious. Phrases such as “mercenaries,” “movement” and “martyring” all indicate a certain language aiming to place the blame on demonstrators, while relieving the Iran-backed government and militia units involved in the crackdown of any responsibility.

Sa’dollah Zarei, a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and a figure close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, shed further light on Tehran’s concerns over its affiliated sites and groups being targeted central and southern Iraq. This clearly indicates the Iraqi people’s utter hatred of the IRGC Quds Force and its malign role in Iraq.

“Any event taking place anywhere can be inspirational for another area. It would be quite natural for us to say that Lebanon was inspired by Iraq, and Iraq can be inspired from another location. In Lebanon, we are witnessing a number of irregular signs. All in all, we may be witnessing this story for weeks and months to come,” he added.

“The situation in Iraq is very similar to the society in Lebanon. In these demonstrations we are witnessing attacks on various Shiite groups, meaning attacks on Asaeb Ahl al-Haq, their members being killed. Around 10 to 15 of them have been martyred. In recent development there was an attack targeting the al-Hekma party, their offices and various centers. They attacked Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) offices and all of a sudden we witness attacks targeting Asaeb Ahl al-Haq, and ten individuals being viciously murdered,” Zarei continued.

Interesting that Asaeb Ahl al-Haq, the al-Hekma and Hashd al-Shaabi groups are all funded, armed, trained and fully supported by Iran’s regime.

It is worth noting that the number provided by Zarei and the descriptions of these deaths cannot be confirmed. All in all, these remarks made by an IRGC member and heard from reports aired on state TV resemble the general state of escalating concern for Iran’s mullahs.

After years of investing billions in Iraq, the mullahs in Tehran are witnessing a loss of vital influence in this country. Iraq has for years been a significant route to bypass U.S. sanctions and losing influence in this country has the potential of having deep impact inside Iran, and especially Tehran.

Attacks targeting Iran’s IRGC and Quds Force proxies in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon

Israeli warplanes are targeting sites in Syria on a weekly basis, including last Saturday. Israel is saying these attacks are aimed at preventing Iran’s blueprints of using drones to launch attacks into Israeli territory.

On Sunday, August 25, the Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah said Tehran’s Shiite proxy groups in Iraq, known as the Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF/PMU), were targeted in airstrikes that left at least one commander killed and another severely injured.

Following the United States’ exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the rate of these attacks and threats, especially this last weekend from unmanned aircrafts, have increased by Tehran and U.S. allies across the region.

According to an Israeli military spokesperson, airstrikes by Israeli warplanes targeting Iran-backed forces near Damascus took place while these units were preparing armed to target areas inside Israel.

Operatives of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force and Tehran-backed Shiite militias were targeted in this strike. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this country’s military neutralized Iran’s plots, adding the Iranian regime has no impunity anywhere and Israeli forces will take action against Iran’s aggressions everywhere.

Although the Syrian military claims many of the missiles and rockets fired by Israel were destroyed prior to impact, Israel says it has carried out hundreds of attacks inside Syria, targeting sites associated to the regime in Iran.

The objectives include preventing the transfer of advanced Iranian weaponry to the Lebanese Hezbollah. On Thursday, August 22, Netanyahu said his country played a role in a series of recent explosions targeting weapons depots linked to the Iran-backed proxy forces in Iraq. On Wednesday, August 21, a group of Shiite militias in Iraq accused the U.S. of permitting these attacks. The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, however, denies these claims.

Following an escalation of airstrikes through warplanes, missiles and drones targeting positions of Iran’s IRGC and Quds Force-linked forces in Syria and Iraq, the regime in Iran has remained silent or flatly denied such attacks. Tehran is extremely concerned about such attacks impacting its forces’ already low morale. In parallel fashion, however, the regime’s state-TV broadcast threatening remarks made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrollah, IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani and officials of Iran-backed terrorist groups in Iraq.

Iran’s state TV – August 26, 2019

“The Zionist regime, following its failure in Sunday nights’ attacks in Lebanon and Syria, launched new raids early this morning targeting border areas of these two countries. Hezbollah’s Secretary General, in response to these attacks, warned that the era of hit-and-run attacks have come to an end and the Israelis should await our answer. If Israel kills our Lebanese Hezbollah brothers, we will respond to them in Lebanon, and not in the Shebaa Farms. (Also spelled Sheba’a Farms, this is a small strip of disputed land at the intersection of the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Golan Heights. The territory is about 11 kilometers long and 2.5 kilometers wide.)

Anchorman: “IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani issued a strong warning in Twitter responding to the Zionist regime’s latest attacks in Syria and Lebanon. Soleimani referred to Israel’s latest airstrikes in Syria and Lebanon and wrote, ‘Most certainly, these crazy operations will be the last efforts of the Zionist regime.’”

“The largest faction in the Iraqi Parliament issued a statement describing the Zionist regime’s attacks against the Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) as a declaration of war against the Iraq’s nation and sovereignty.

“The al-Fath faction considers it its right to respond to these insults to Iraq’s dignity. We call on the Iraqi government and Parliament to end the U.S. presence in Iraqi airspace. The Americans, who claim to protect Iraq’s airspace, have become a cover for airstrikes against Iraqi sovereignty.”

IRGC in Lebanon

Following these series of attacks against Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, Orient Net, associated to the Syrian opposition cited a Lebanese security source saying Soleimani and IRGC chief Hossein Salami entered Lebanon on Saturday, August 23. Both senior IRGC officials were escorted by a large IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah security convoy, according to Orient’s source.

Nasrollah held a large secret meeting with Salami and Suleimani to coordinate security matters, the source said. The two senior IRGC officials also paid visits to warehouses and factories of heavy weaponry that Iran has launched for Hezbollah in the town of Naameh south of Beirut.

Naameh, Lebanon

The deep impact of Zarif’s sanctioning

Remarks made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a press conference on August 5, followed by remarks by the regime’s government spokesman Ali Rabie shed interesting light into the mullahs’ inner apparatus. Their words also raise interesting questions:

-Why are Iranian officials and state media going the distance in praising Zarif these days?

-What role does Zarif play in the mullahs’ regime?

-And why are Iranian officials making such a fuss about Zarif’s sanctioning?

Zarif’s main argument

Zarif is accusing the U.S. of not being honest: Washington claims to seek negotiations while they sanction both Zarif – the regime’s main negotiator – and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the figure who calls all the shots in Tehran.

On August 6, when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the Foreign Ministry and meets with senior officials, he refers to this very issue. “You say you want to negotiate. You know our constitution. We cannot enter negotiations without the Supreme Leader’s notice. Then why did you sanction Khamenei?”

In other words, both Zarif and Rouhani attempted to portray the U.S. as the party to blame for closing the path to talks.

Expiration date

It is interesting that on the one hand Khamenei describes any talks and negotiations as a “deadly poison,” while Rouhani uses the word “negotiations” a whopping 40 times in his recent remarks.

Of course, Rouhani does understand that any negotiations in the current circumstances, with the U.S. placing 12 conditions before Tehran, are tantamount to the mullahs’ digging their own graves. In fact, despite using the word negotiations 40 times in his remarks, Rouhani does not forget to emphasize to the U.S., “We have no negotiations with you!”

“You are aware of our constitution. You know that fundamental decisions are made by [Khamenei], including the subject of negotiations. You know that the Foreign Minister is the administrative arm in such talks. Therefore, when you sanction both figures, there’s no longer any room for negotiations,” he continued.

This praising of Zarif, alongside Zarif’s own remarks, are aimed at cloaking the undeniable reality that following Zarif’s sanctioning, the entire Iranian regime has received a significant blow and suffered an unprecedented setback. Not only is it now revealed that the U.S. has no hopes in this or that faction of the regime, sanctioning the foreign minister discredits the regime’s diplomatic apparatus across the globe.

As a result, Zarif’s expiration date has expired and if Khamenei has it in his power, he should think about replacing him as he is no longer useful for the regime. One can also argue Zarif could be counterproductive, a constantly being a reminder of sanctioned figure representing the mullahs’ regime.

The main crisis now engulfing the regime, however, is crippling economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. that are targeting the regime and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). What Tehran needs now is a lifeline from this economic suffocation and Zarif can no longer be of any use in this regard.

Internal turmoil

U.S. sanctions against the regime in Iran were reinstated in November of last year. Tehran was counting on eight oil sanctions exemptions and exporting 1.1 million barrels of oil per day to remain intact. This loophole was plugged in May of this year when all oil waivers were brought to an end. A short while later Iran’s exports dropped to 500,000 bpd, then to 300,000 bpd, and now reports indicate Iran’s vital oil exports have dwindled down to 100,000 bpd.

The status quo, parallel to a highly restive society, poses a very lethal threat to the mullahs’ regime. There is a high potential of a new uprising mirroring that of December 2017 / January 2018, when people in over 140 cities across Iran rose up against the entire regime apparatus. Experts inside Iran have said time and again that a repeat of such a scenario would be far more devastating for the ruling elite and the IRGC.

A short while ago Rouhani said the government employs around five million people. The country has 15 million workers and the government can only provide for a 20 percent raise in wages, he added. All the while, inflation at its lowest is calculated to be over 40 percent and food prices are witnessing an inflation of over 80 percent!

In such circumstances, the mullahs’ regime is facing an army of ordinary people suffering from poverty resulting from destructive policies implemented by the mullahs’ regime. To say it mildly, the Iranian society can be described as a powder keg with a very short and lighted fuse.

Dark shadow

While all media coverage maybe focused on Iran’s malign activities across the region, the main concern for the regime is none other than the Iranian people themselves. This is a force to be reckoned with and the mullahs understand very well the dark shadow of this ever-growing threat.

Zarif, with his smiles and devious language, is a pawn constantly used to gain time in the face of such escalating turmoil. The West had provided a desperately needed lifeline to the regime vis-à-vis their appeasement approach. This left the Iranian people, and Middle East nations, at the mullahs’ mercy for far too long.

The Trump administration, however, has set aside this harmful mentality and weak set of policies. The latest of such measures is sanctioning Zarif as the regime’s “chief apologist” and “terrorist enabler.”

At a first glance this maybe a hit at Zarif. Looking deeper, we realize the regime as a whole is in the cross hairs, leaving the mullahs extremely weakened. And the Iranian people posing a deadly threat to the entire regime apparatus.

Iran, fake news and U.S. sanctions – The truth of “medicine shortages”

A very common talking point parroted repeatedly by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif and his network of apologists/lobbyists across the United Sanctions and Europe is that U.S. sanctions are to blame for a shortage of medicine in Iran.

Mohammad Nasiri of the Associated Press has recently published a piece in this regard, joining Tehran’s chorus of running fake news in mainstream media.

Nasiri claims, “… many are blaming President Donald Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign for the staggering prices and shortages.” Of course, as common practice by all Tehran apologists/lobbyist, he fails to provide any source to back his usage of the word “many.”

Nasiri writes, “The nuclear deal had raised expectations of a better life for many Iranians, free of the chokehold of international sanctions.” And yet, one wonders why he refuses to explain the reasons behind Iran’s regime being the target of international sanctions. The same regime that is known as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism – and suffering from sanctions as a result – is also the main enemy of the Iranian people themselves. Nevertheless, Nasiri could care less and his main objective is to portray a dove image of Tehran’s mullahs.

Nasiri goes on to quote an Iranian minister (very reliable source!).

“Last week, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said budget cuts because of the drop in crude exports have dramatically affected his department. The U.S. sanctions have targeted all classes of Iranians, he added.”

What Nasiri refuses to report are interesting comments made recently by a senior Hamas official visiting Iran, emphasizing how Iran’s regime, despite the sanctions, is ready to provide any aid to this terrorist group. Saleh al-Aruri described the recent Hamas delegation’s visit to Tehran as strategic and historic.

As Nasiri continues to parrot Zarif’s talking points, he also refuses to address the subject of vast and institutionalized corruption in Iran’s regime.

Just recently, the chief of staff of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in letter that one billion euros ($1.12 billion) in hard currency, allocated for importing medicines & essential goods, is unaccounted for, or has literally “disappeared.”

Again, Nasiri could care less.

The writer of this Associated Press piece further shows his loyalty to Zarif’s talking points by saying “the state provides health care for all.” If that is actually the case, why don’t Nasiri and AP address the subject of so many signs across the walls of Iran’s major cities put up by people offering to sell their kidneys and other body parts to pay off debts, many being medical debts?

iran-offers to sell kidneys and other body parts
Signs of people offering to sell their kidneys and other body parts are becoming quite normal in cities across Iran

Medicine is “out of reach for many in a country where the average monthly salary is equivalent to about $450,” Nasiri writes. Of course, the issue that he refuses to touch on is the question that why should a country of 80 million, with the world’s second largest natural gas and fourth largest crude oil reserves, be doing so poorly?

The answer is simple and Nasiri will not elaborate at all. Iran’s regime is known to spend billions of dollars propping the Assad war machine in Syria, Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, extremist militia groups in Iraq, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine, and the Houthis proxy forces in Yemen, among other such bad actors across the region and beyond.

FDD
Iran’s regime is known as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and described as the international central bank of terrorism.

Furthermore, Iran has spent hundreds of billions of dollars in pursuit of a completely unnecessary nuclear program – claiming to be civilian in nature – and constantly developing and proliferating ballistic missiles. Again, why would Iran’s mullahs, while rich in such vast amounts of energy deposits, go through all this hardship of international isolation for a “civilian” nuclear program? And leave the Iranian people deprived and now in lack of medicine, as Nasiri claims?

The answer again is simple. The regime ruling Iran cares nothing about the Iranian people and it is clearly seeking to obtain nuclear weapons. It is absolutely childish to claim Tehran’s regime does not seek nuclear weapons based on the a supposed fatwa (decree) issued by the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei banning nuclear weapons. This regime has lied for forty years and not seeking nuclear weapons is among its utmost preposterous claims to this day.

Nasiri’s claims are pushed further by Iran’s main lobbyists in the U.S. This specifically includes Trita Parsi, founder of NIAC, the disgraced Tehran lobby group based in Washington, DC, and current NIAC President Jamal Abdi.

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Saman Tabasinejad of the Iranian Canadian Congress, NIAC’s sister lobby group in Canada, is another Tehran lobbyist retweeting Abdi’s tweet in this regard.

While Iran’s regime and its apologists/lobbyists claim US sanctions prevent the import of medicine into Iran, the mullahs’ own state-run outlets boast about the regime’s readiness to send medicine/medical equipment to Venezuela.

“The head of Food and Drug Administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FDA) says that Iran is ready to export medicine to Venezuela… Mehdi Pirsali expressed Iran’s readiness to export medicine, medical equipment, and transfer knowledge and technology to Venezuela within the framework of the previously signed memorandum of understanding,” according to Mehr news agency, known to be affiliated to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

In October, an Iranian official said, “200 tons of medicine & medical supplies will be sent to [Iraq], including 400 types of medicine and 80 types of medical equipment,” according to the regime’s officials IRNA news agency.

In August 2018, three months after the U.S. exited the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran’s apologists/lobbyists claim now prevents the import of medicine into Iran, the regime’s state-run ILNA news agency reported, “Iran exports $25 million of medicine & equipment to Iraq each year and has the capacity of up to $200 million.”

Iran’s Red Crescent has also it is “necessary” to provide Iranian Red Crescent aid to the people in Yemen. Therefore, Iran does have enough money for its own people’s medical needs. It just chooses to spend it elsewhere.

To make things even more interesting, Iran’s regime is allowing Shabnam Nematzadeh, the daughter of a regime insider, run an import/export pharmaceutical company. One report says, “… Shabnam Nematzadeh, the daughter of the former Mines and Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh in Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, was found to be hoarding a stock of medication worth 50 billion rials (approx. $500,000).”

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Iran’s regime is also ready and quite capable in providing medicine to Hezbollah terrorists.

“Let me be clear. For years, all of our necessities, from medicine to our missiles, all have been provided by Iran. Iran helps Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, resistance groups. Iran helped in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain …,” says Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

To conclude, such lies that U.S. sanctions are depriving the Iranian people access to medicine is nothing but fabrications of Tehran’s fake news/propaganda apparatus.

Moreover, why do reporters such as Mohammad Nasiri of AP resort to printing such lies? The answer is quite simple. If AP fails to publish such reports favorable of the mullahs ruling Iran, their man in Tehran, Nasiri, will be kicked out.

This is another reason why Fake News is the enemy of the people. The Associated Press is willing to publish lies and fake news to please the murderous mullahs’ regime in Tehran in order to have their “reporter” remain in Tehran.

Shame.

Iran: Secret execution of senior IRGC member

Reports are circulating in Iran, especially in Farsi-language social media posts, citing sources close to the members of Tehran’s City Council claiming Isa Sharifi, deputy mayor during the tenure of Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, was secretly executed by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) intelligence on charges of “espionage for an enemy state.” Ghalibaf, mayor of Tehran from 2005 to 2017, is a former ranking member of the IRGC command.

Sharifi was a senior military officer during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s and Ghalibaf’s deputy in the IRGC Air Force. He also led the department in charge of reconstructing the IRGC Air Force.

His report card includes serving in the IRGC’s 14th Division, IRGC Department of Logistics and Ordnance, and State Police Department of Logistics.

As reports leaked of a massive case of embezzlement involving the Tehran Municipality, Sharifi – known as the “Tehran Municipality Black Box” – fled to Sweden under the pretext of seeking treatment for his daughter’s illness. Reports indicate he sought asylum in the Nordic country.

Back in September 2017, the IRGC Intelligence Organization, in cooperation with the regime’s State Police, carried out a plot luring Sharifi to Armenia where he was arrested and transferred back to Tehran.

In December 2017, mediation by Ghalibaf himself and the influence of Seyed Massoud Khamenei, the son of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, led to the release of Sharifi on a massive bail. The money was provided by a group of influential regime insiders called the “Isfahanis Group,” reports indicate.

All press and media outlets inside Iran described Sharifi’s crime as a major case of embezzlement. With a very suspicious dossier and after fleeing abroad, Sharifi was reportedly hired by a foreign intelligence agency as a spy.

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, deputy chair for Iran’s judiciary, made these remarks in a September 2017 press conference in regards to Sharifi’s apprehension.

“I have no details yet and if I did have any details I would not be able to provide any,” he said, raising even more suspicions on this entire portfolio.

On April 22 of this year, Gholam-Hossein Esmaeeli, spokesperson for Iran’s judiciary, added further controversy when asked about Sharifi. “Unfortunately, I don’t recall!” he replied.

IRGC intelligence had realized Sharif’s suspicious communications from back in February 2018. Using advanced surveillance technologies, they obtained information indicating Sharifi was exchanging intelligence about the IRGC missile and air force capabilities with his contacts. Sharifi was arrested immediately and held in a secret IRGC site. During his detention, three of his Sharifi’s contacts in the cities of Tehran, Bushehr and Jask were arrested.

In March 2019, following execution orders specifically issued for Sharifi, Tehran City Council member Mahmoud Mirlohi, informed of details regarding Sharifi’s dossier, made interesting remarks in an interview.

“Despite being a representative of the people, I have been banned from making certain remarks. Should we not be asking where is Isa Sharifi today?” he said.

Finally, this noticeable IRGC figure and former deputy mayor of Tehran, who served alongside a senior IRGC commander for 12 years and was described as the “Tehran Municipality Black Box,” was secretly sent to the gallows in the early morning hours of June 21.

A long list of Iranian state media have denied any reports of Sharifi’s secret execution. For Iranians, this only adds to their conviction of such an individual actually being secretly executed by the mullahs’ regime.

Reports over the secret execution of a senior IRGC member follows reports of an brigadier general and 122 other Guards members being arrested by the Intelligence Ministry on espionage charges.

As the United States continues its maximum pressure policy targeting the core of the mullahs’ regime and the IRGC, rifts are running deep in the mullahs’ apparatus. What makes Tehran utterly concerned is the undeniable reality that such circumstances leave the regime utterly vulnerable in the face of a new round of nationwide protests and uprisings similar to the December 2017/January 2018 scenario that engulfed over 140 cities throughout the country.

Time will tell us more.

Iran’s regime & its lobbies are terrified of even a single Twitter account

On June 9, The Intercept published an article by Murtaza Mohammad Hussain in which he claimed I, being an Iranian dissident/activist, am a “persona” and my Twitter account is managed by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the main Iranian opposition group.

Following the publication, Iranian regime lobbyists abroad and Tehran’s trolls launched an orchestrated attack against me.

Although Iranians in exile and foreign dignitaries strongly supported me, Twitter temporarily suspended my account and reopened after gaining reassurance. As a result, the Iranian regime failed on an international stage in silencing my voice of exposing the mullahs’ crimes.

More than all parties and in an unbelievable capacity, Iranian regime officials – from its UK ambassador to its oppressive entities inside Iran – were cheering The Intercept article and the suspension of my Twitter account.

The Fars news agency, associated to Tehran’s terrorist-designated Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), praised The Intercept as an “investigative platform.”

“This outlet unveiled a famous account and revealed it to be an anti-Iranian project run by the [MEK]. Twitter suspended this account.”

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Fars news agency covering The Intercept hit piece on Heshmat Alavi

Prior to this, Twitter had deleted a network of 2,800 Iran-linked fake accounts on May 28.

Two weeks later, nearly another 4,800 Tehran-associated accounts were also deleted, according to Reuters.

In the span of just two weeks, Twitter deleted more than 7,500 Iran-linked accounts. Some of these accounts played an active role in the campaign against me and other Iranian dissident activists.

However, the question is that why did this “investigative platform” (according to the IRGC’s Fars news agency) not write a single word about the 7,500 fake accounts, yet went the distance through a 3,000-word hit piece to claim my account is fake?

The disgraced Iran lobby group, NIAC, and its operative supporting Murtaza Hussain’s Intercept article is yet further proof of its fake nature and direct association to Tehran. The Intercept article provoked NIAC founder Trita Parsi to such an extent that he threatened to hold accountable credible U.S. outlets, that unlike The Intercept, are not in warm waters with Iran’s regime. Trita Parsi intends to silence the voice of all Iranian dissidents.

Who should be associated to this utter shame? Murtaza Hussain or Trita Parsi?

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NIAC founder Trita Parsi threatening to hold U.S. media accountable on Heshmat Alavi

For those not informed, recently Iranians on Twitter once again voiced their widespread hatred vis-à-vis NIAC. In the past, there was the “#Shut_Up_NIAC” hashtag and now the “#NIACLobbies4Mullahs” was trending in powerful manner.

I have asked myself repeatedly about the objective of The Intercept article that is full of obvious lies, and how it was a completely orchestrated effort with the Iranian regime’s troll cyber army and known Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) agents.

Did they seek to force me to come forward and reveal my true name to have the Iranian regime target me, and my family and friends (especially in Iran)? Or was Tehran and The Intercept thinking Heshmat Alavi is an easy tool to target and victimize in order to deliver a blow to the PMOI/MEK? Maybe both.

It is interesting that neither the Iranian regime, nor its lobbyists in the West, nor The Intercept article, were ever able to debunk the facts and revelations placed forward by me through my Twitter account. Instead, they put all journalism standards aside and attempted to portray me as a “persona.”

If we take a close look at The Intercept’s sources, we realize that Murtaza Hussain “coincidentally” interviewed three known Iranian regime operatives: Hassan Heyrani, Reza Sadeghi and Massoud Khodabandeh!

A simple Google reveals that Hassan Heyrani – cited by The Intercept as a high-ranking MEK defector – actually requested MEK membership and was expelled by this organization on April 10, 2018, “due to intelligence and security concerns.”

A German court also rejected claims placed forward by Der Spiegel – citing Hassan Heyrani as their source – as baseless and lies.

An Iranian proverb goes, “Asked for an eye-witness, the fox offered his tail.”

“Collusion is suspected; or, one witness for his own benefit.”

Murtaza Hussain “coincidentally” cites two other Iranian regime operatives.

Reza Sadeghi was an MOIS operative who joined the PMOI/MEK from Canada and relocated to Camp Ashraf, the organization’s former main base in Iraq. Following his expulsion from the PMOI/MEK in 2005, he returned to Iran.

In March 2008, he received a passport from the MOIS and ordered to begin his anti-MEK activities. He returned to Iraq and was arrested by Iraqi police near Camp Ashraf.

Being expelled from the MEK back in 2005, how could Sadeghi have information about an issue relating to the years between 2014 – when I launched my Twitter account – and 2019?

The Intercept says Jebeli lives in Canada. Iranians in Canada have informed me he is so utterly disgraced that years ago he was accused of child abduction.

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Reza Sadeghi (Jebeli) accused of child abduction in Canada

Massoud Khodabandeh is the third source cited by The Intercept. This individual is a known MOIS operative with a history of cooperating with Tehran going back to more than 20 years.

The Library of Congress issued a Pentagon-requested report describing Khodabandeh and his wife, Ann Singleton, as figures recruited by the MOIS in the 1990s who are now and have been involved in publishing fake news about the MEK.

Veteran Col. Wesley Martin, former Anti-terrorism/Force Protection Officer of all Coalition forces in Iraq, writes this about Khodabandeh – who describes himself as “director of Middle East Strategy Consultants,” which is nothing but a cloak:

“The Middle East Strategy Consultants seemed bogus from the onset and an investigation of its public records reveals it existed for a very short time before dissolving in 2013. The Huffington Post continues to name Masoud Khodabandeh as the entity’s director.

“It is worth noting that all websites used by Khodabandeh, such as mesconult.com, Iran-Interlink and khodabandeh.org are hosted by Ravand Cybertech, an entity run by the Iranian regime, as reported by Stand for Peace, a Jewish-Muslim interfaith organization.”

Due to Murtaza Hussain’s pro-Iranian regime approach, of course using historically disgraced “sources” with known pasts linked to Iran’s MOIS against Tehran’s dissidents is probably very satisfying and not shameful at all.

Especially since the Iranian regime used these very individuals to justify its foiled terrorist plots in 2018 in Albania and France against the MEK.

Murtaza Hussain is also active in Twitter promoting the Iranian regime’s talking points. He specifically describes Hassan Rouhani, the regime’s president, as a “moderate.”

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Murtaza Mohammad Hussain is quite fond of Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani

Interesting how Murtaza Hussain never refers to this horrific reality that over 3,800 individuals have been executed to this day during the tenure of the “moderate” Rouhani.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rightfully said:

“Here in the West, President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif are often held apart from the regime’s unwise terrorist and malign behavior. They are treated somehow differently… The West says: ‘Boy, if only [Rouhani and Zarif] could control Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani, then things would be great.’”

Iranians are very familiar with such methods. When dictators reach the end of their lifespan and become desperate, they always demonize their dissidents as fake or unreal. And there are always “reporters” who presell their dignity to repeat such ridiculous claims.

During the 2009 uprising in Iran, former Iranian regime president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the millions of protesters pouring into the streets as mere “riff-raff.”

People were heard chanting the next day in their demonstrations:

“Doktor-e Kapshen pareh, khashak ke pa nadare!”

(Doctor with a torn overcoat, riff-raff doesn’t walk!)

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Iranians to former regime president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “Doktor-e Kapshen pareh, khashak ke pa nadare!” (Doctor with a torn overcoat, riff-raff doesn’t walk!)

Forty years ago, during the last days of the Shah’s dictatorship, due to the imposed martial law people would go to their rooftops at nights to chant anti-regime slogans.

General Azhari, the Shah’s last prime minister, referred to these chants as cassette tapes and not real protesters.

In response, people demonstrating in the streets chanted:

“Azhari Goosaleh, Bazam migi navare? Navar ke pa nadareh!”

(Azhari, you [idiot], still think it’s tape? Tapes don’t walk!”)

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Iranians to the Shah’s last prime minister who accused them of being fake: “Azhari Goosaleh, Bazam migi navare? Navar ke pa nadareh!” (Azhari, you [idiot], still think it’s tape? Tapes don’t walk!”)