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  • Masoud Dalvand 10:04 am on 20 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cyber army, , , , Restart   

    The Media Express: Iranian Regime Increases Propaganda Campaign Against Resistance (MEK/PMOI) 

    The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) both mobilized their cyber armies, both inside and outside Iran, to ramp up a campaign of misinformation against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK/PMOI), one of the largest resistance groups.

    Source: Iranian Regime Increases Propaganda Campaign Against Resistance (MEK/PMOI)

    January 19, 2019 by Siavosh Hosseini 

    The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a show of support for the Iranian people, asked them to share their questions and hopes for the future of their country on social media. Not surprisingly, the Iranian regime kicked its cyber army into gear, issuing thousands of tweets against the MEK/PMOI and the Iranian resistance.

    The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) both mobilized their cyber armies, both inside and outside Iran, to ramp up a campaign of misinformation against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK/PMOI), one of the largest resistance groups.

    The spike was documented on Thursday afternoon, January 17, through midnight. The tweets and retweets were produced by the regime’s troll factory, which is located in Mashhad, Tabriz, Yazd, and Tehran.

    Quotes from Tweets Sound Familiar

    There is a reoccurring theme in these tweets, including hashtags that include #Iranians_hate_PMOIand #no_to_Mojahedin_e_khalq. There is also evidence that the campaign used IPs in the U.S. and Europe, to hide to the origin of the tweets. The tweets came under various names, one of the main ones being RESTART.

    The campaign comes as the regime is struggling to deal with the repercussions of the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Iranian economy is plagued by corruption, leading to an economic crisis marked by high unemploymentcurrency devaluation, and inflation. It is estimated that 80% of Iranians are living below the poverty line.

    In spite of this, the regime is determined to project strength, despite the fact that the regime is under siege both domestically and internationally. Ongoing protests against the regime show no signs of slowing. They are not focused on minor problems, but ongoing crises that are both economic and environmental.

    RESTART Background Begins in State-Run TV

    The founder of RESTART is Mohammad Hosseini and he started with Iranian state-run tv. Later, he joined the Green Movement with ties to Khamenei. In an interview in August 2013, Hosseini acknowledges that he was approached by members of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and was told to launch a tv program with the content to be provided by the regime.

    Hosseini indicated that he had been threatened, including the obstruction of his career if he did not fall in line. “Hosseini, you either take this money from us…or we use a tenth of this money to obstruct your success. Make your decision. You will set up the TV that will be publicized. Its system is available, and we will give you the news which is all critical [of the regime],” said Hosseini.

    This campaign is just another example of the regime’s attempt to distract from the larger issues that are putting their fundamentalist government on shaky ground. null

    About Siavosh Hosseini (285 Articles)

    My background is in the visual arts, particularly in photojournalism. I have had the opportunity to cover scores of international artistic and news events in the US and across Europe since the mid-1980s. I was active in television newsrooms and production as a graphic designer and producer for more than 12 years in different television and news outfits in Europe.

  • Masoud Dalvand 7:25 pm on 19 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , European SPV, ,   

    European SPV: morale-boosting panacea or recipe for more inner fighting among the ruling Iranian mullahs? 

    Iranian regime officials are losing hope in a European payment mechanism that is supposed to help them circumvent U.S. sanctions

    Analysis by PMOI/MEK

    Jan. 19, 2019 – Shortly after the current U.S. administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, the European Union announced its plans to set up a clearinghouse-like mechanism that allowed continuous trade with Iran by circumventing the resuming energy and banking sanctions.

    At first, the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) functioned as an anti-dote to the gradually waning moral of the already battered base of the Islamic Republic. Four decades of hypocrisy, blatant corruption, and nepotism takes its toll.

    On January 24, about three weeks after the deadline for creating the financial mechanism by the EU has passed, Bahram Ghassemi, the spokesperson for Hassan Rouhani’s foreign ministry, said in a press conference: “Europeans are interested in implementing the financial mechanism, but it has been impacted seriously under U.S. pressure. We have complaints about them, but we aren’t waiting for them and will follow our course firmly.”

    When a reporter from a newspaper close to the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei asked him about Iranian officials’ repeated promises that the SPV will become operational, Ghassemi dodged the question and said: “Anyways, time increases one’s experience and I think that’s valuable and you can clear many ambiguous points in this process.”

    When the reporter asked Ghassemi to answer specifically to his question, he said: “Look, you want to take me again to the bottomless pit where I give you a schedule and after ten days, 15 days [or] a month you ask me that Islamic Republic officials or the spokesperson for the foreign ministry said that date and it didn’t happen.”

    On January 25, Iran’s deputy oil minister said to Mehr news agency: “Soon the financial mechanism will bear fruit.”

    On the same day, Young Reporters Club quoted a Politico article saying that, “the SPV will probably launch in mid-January, around the third anniversary of the implementation of the nuclear deal.” The full Politico article describes that the SPV will probably only cover goods already exempt from sanctions, but the Iranian outlet didn’t find it useful enough to relay.

    But despite continued efforts to boost morale with the promise of the SPV, fear and anxiety is already showing through the cracks.

    Jahan-e Sanat newspaper, close to Rouhani’s so-called moderate faction, writes: “The Warsaw summit is an answer to Washington’s need to make Iran’s issue international by entering Europe’s differences and deepening them. Washington’s final goal is to obstruct Europe in the financial mechanism issue.”

    But as time passes and while European officials gradually decrease Iranian expectations from the SPV, the panacea is starting to turn into a prescription for reopening old and nasty wounds of inner quarrels between the ruling Iranian factions.

  • Masoud Dalvand 10:52 pm on 16 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Warsaw Summit   

    Iran Protests, Democratic Alternative(NCRI), And The Warsaw Summit, Has A Message to Iran’s Regime: Overthrow is Coming. 

    Masoud Dalvand(Freedom Star):

    Warsaw Summit, which will be held on February 13 and 14, 2019 in the capital of Poland. The summit will focus on the Middle East issues, focusing on the Iranian regime.

    Many of countries from all over the world will attend this summit. Since the announcement of this by US Secretary of State Mike Pampo, the regime of the terrorist mullahs in Iran has shown a lot of reaction, indicating fear of holding such a summit and forming an international coalition against it. Meanwhile, the regime faces political, economic and social crises with the protests and strikes of the Iranian people and an organized resistance.

    The resistance, known for its leadership and platform and its powerful structure, is the democratic alternative of this regime.

    The highly informative editorial of the official website of the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI) is readable in this regard. I invite you to read it.

    Iran Regime’s Fear Of “Iran- Focused” Conference in Poland

    Iran Regime's Fear of U.S. Plan to Host An "Iran- Focused" Conference in Poland

    It has only been 4 days since the U.S. secretary of state announced the upcoming conference in Poland’s capital, Warsaw. Which is planned to be held on 14th and 15th of February by US, and many other countries, but despite the efforts of the Iranian regime to downplay this event, its media platforms expose an actual fear.

    Regime’s hasty reactions to this conference

    Some examples are:

    – On January13th, Iran regime’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Polish chargé d’affaires to lodge a formal complaint about the upcoming conference.

    – The polish film Festival in Tehran was suspended.

    – The deputy of Iran’s foreign ministry, i.e., Araghchi, threatened to destroy the polish graveyard (which has been in Tehran since 1942).

    These extreme reactions show just how frustrated the regime is.

    Poland’s conference could be a beginning of a new global union

    According to Pompeo, tens of countries are going to be attending this conference, from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Middle East; and that “the conference is going to focus on the stability of the Middle East and issues revolving around peace, safety, and freedom; and on ensuring that Iran will not be a destabilising force in the region”.

    The regime has always been interfering with regional affairs as evident by its terrorist activities or threats of nuclear power and so forth; which is why U.S. is going to face it.

    According to the predictions of political pundits, many countries are going to be present in this conference. Moreover, US knows that by holding the conference in Europe, European countries will be forced to choose a side; it’s expected that many will support U.S. over the religious and terrorist dictatorship of Iran. Which is exactly why the regime is very fearful now.

    The consequences of Poland’s conference

    The final resolutions of the conference will remain to be seen; but even if it bears no practical implications, the mere political significance of it will be of prodigious importance since:

    – The appeasement front will be enfeebled, with a probable split among European countries in their policies towards the Iranian regime.

    – The regime will become more isolated than ever, especially in the Middle East region.

    – And finally the resulting consequences of the aforementioned situation will reinforce both sanctions and political backing for U.S. position.

    On January 12th, Washington’s special representative for Iran (i.e., Brian Hook) announced in Abu Dhabi that U.S. will no longer grant ay waivers to other countries, for Iran’s oil sanctions.

    Clearly, the US is not relying on other countries for its sanctions and other approaches against Iran. What US really needs at this stage, is the political support of other countries.

    Poland’s conference and the future of Europe

    It is questionable that contrary to recent Rouhani government’s enthusiasm over the European Special purpose vehicle initiative for trade with Iran, these days the regime officials are continuously expressing desperateness against Europe by stating they have no hope in EU countries anymore! What is so unnerving about the Poland’s conference which has caused this much panic inside the regime?

    In fact upcoming conference must be seen in light of current national and international conditions and constant changes in balance of power against the regime which is also significantly weakened as a result of ongoing nationwide protests and uprising.

    The role of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in balance of power

    The global position of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and NCRI has continuously escalated in importance as American and some European politicians clearly stress over the role of the Iranian people in their official positions especially along with ongoing eviction of the regime’s Diplomat- Terrorists from many European countries.

    Also the regime itself admits to it in its media, in a different way, for instance the state run Arman newspaper, recently published an article (January 13th, 2019) stating:

    “According to our prediction, very few countries will attend this conference and Trump will not achieve what he had previously planned. Other interventions (of NCRI) will also lack political or security significance; and even if they (NCRI) attend the conference it will have negative effects for the U.S and Europeans!

    Reiterating the importance of this conference in another article, the newspaper writes: “if the confess clearly declares that its purpose is uniting the opposition and destabilizing our government, the organizers could be in legal trouble and can be questioned by Iranian institutions including the Foreign Ministry; because they’d be violating the United Nations charters.

    Where the NCRI stands

    On January 12th Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the president elect of the Iranian Resistance announced:

    On behalf of the Iranian Resistance, which has called for an arms and oil embargo against the mullahs’ religious dictatorship since 1981, the President-elect of the NCRI for the transitional period of transferring sovereignty to the people of Iran, reiterated the need to take the following steps:

    1. Recognition of the Iranian people’s right to resistance to overthrow the mullahs’ religious fascism and achieve freedom;

    2. Designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as a whole as terrorist entities by the U.S. State Department and the European Union;

    3. Expulsion of the mullahs’ intelligence agents and mercenaries of the terrorist Qods Force from the U.S. and Europe;

    4. Referring the dossier of human rights violations in Iran to the UN Security Council after 65 United Nations censures;

    5. Supporting the referral of the dossier of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran to international tribunals;

    6. Ouster of the mullahs’ illegitimate regime from the UN and recognition of representation by the Iranian people’s just Resistance;

    7. Decisive expulsion of Iran’s ruling religious fascism and its forces from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan;

    8. Compelling the government of Iraq to pay compensation for the properties, equipment, arms and camps the PMOI/MEK and the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA), which had fully paid for them and whose evidentiary documents are available.

    • wizzymedpower 8:00 am on 17 Jan 2019 Permalink

      Thanks Dalvand for the Iranians update.. I appreciate your relentless efforts to acquaint us of the happening in the Iranian nation. We joined faith to bring peace and tranquility in this nation in Jesus name amen!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 6:31 pm on 17 Jan 2019 Permalink

      I thank you for your great support. God bless you dear Israel.


  • Masoud Dalvand 10:46 pm on 14 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Europe, , , , Iran Terror,   

    It’s time for Europe to adopt a policy of decisive action against the Iran’s mullahs regime instead of appeasing it. Look at an excellent analysis of this topic. 

    Masoud Dalvand(Freedom Star): I read an excellent analysis of the recent EU action against the mullahs regime in Iran because of the terrorist activities of this regime in Europe on the official website of the PMOI.

    In this article, while reviewing the records of the terrorist activities of the Iranian regime in Europe, it is necessary to adopt a firm policy against the mullahs, instead of continuing the policy of appeasement with them for decades with the neglect of the fundamental rights of the Iranian people. This piece ends with an interesting reference to History of appeasement policy in Europe before World War II .

    When the policy of appeasement with Nazi Germany and Hitler resulted in nothing but encouragement of the Nazis and the war on all of Europe, but after a failed policy, the appease of Hitler turned into a policy of determination and resistance to him.

    The basic question is whether the time has come to end the policy of appeasement with the terrorist regime and the dictatorship of the mullahs in Iran?

    I invite you to read this highly informative article.

    Europe finally determined to take a stance against the Iranian regime?

    The mullahs’ regime terrorism around the world and in Europe

    Analysis by PMOI/MEK

    Jan. 14, 2019 

    • By sanctioning the intelligence ministry of the ruling theocracy in Iran, the European Union has improved its security.
    • While trying to help the Iranian mullahs in the face of new U.S. sanctions, Europeans were caught flatfooted as the Iranian regime used their soil to plot terrorist attacks
    • Maybe Europe’s understanding of the true nature of the ruling system in Iran is evolving in the right direction.

    While the Iranian regime was counting on Europe’s support in the face of new U.S. sanctions and was developing its relations with the European Union, the January 9 sanctions by the Council of the European Unions—representing the executive governments of the EU’s member states—against the Iranian intelligence ministry was a wake-up call and slap in the face of the mullahs.

    Years of appeasement and petrodollar-first policies by some circles in the European Union—currently incarnated in EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini—led the Iranian ruling mullahs to believe that they had a free hand in conducting terrorist plots on European soil without ramifications.

    Iranian terrorist activities in Europe over the past four decades, excluding two recent assassinations in Netherlands (Source: U.S. Department of State)

    The Iranian regime’s record of terrorism around the world and in Europe is as old as the Islamic Republic itself, but a flux of Iranian terrorist activities on European soil over the past few years is particularly concerning.

    Last year in June, Iranian agents plotted to bomb the annual gathering of the main organized Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in Paris. Two Iranian agents disguised as members of the opposition were arrested in Paris, while an Iranian diplomat and a high-ranking member of Iran’s Quds Force, responsible for foreign terrorist activities, was later arrested in Germany. The high-ranking Iranian official, Assadollah Assadi, who was at the time a diplomat in Iran’s embassy in Vienna, was later extradited to Belgium and awaits trial.

    Last year, the Iranian intelligence ministry also plotted to assassinate an Iranian Arab dissident in Denmark. The attack was thwarted, and Denmark publicly accused Tehran of plotting the attack.

    In 2015 and 2017, local thugs hired by the Iranian intelligence ministry assassinated two other Iranian dissidents in the Netherlands. Dutch officials have publicly connected the attacks to the Iranian regime.

    While the Iran lobby in Europe and around the world is still trying to save the ruling criminals in Iran by normalizing the endless stream of crimes and misconduct coming out of the Islamic Republic, it seems that cooler heads, who put their country’s long-term interests before political short-term gains are prevailing.

    EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif during her visit to Iran in 2016. During this period, when the nuclear deal was reached with the P5+1 countries and sanctions against Iran’s economy were lifted, Iranian terrorists were stepping up their nefarious activities around the world.

    Catching the Iranian regime four times with a smoking gun just on European soil over the past few years while the so-called moderate president Hassan Rouhani was incumbent makes it extremely difficult for apologists to paint a reasonable picture of the ruling mullahs in Iran.

    Especially when all four attacks were planned or carried out before the current U.S. administration pulled out of the nuclear deal. How can you honestly defend a deal when its inevitable outcome was an emboldened terrorist state that—enriched by petrodollars—increased its terrorist activities around the world instead of investing in its collapsing economy and impoverished people?

    Comments by Iranian officials after Europe’s latest decision to firmly respond to Iranian terrorist activities on its soil clearly show the surprise and shock they feel.

    Javad Zarif, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister, criticized European countries for giving refuge to supporters and members of PMOI/MEK, which the regime considers a terrorist group. “Accusing Iran won’t absolve Europe of responsibility for harboring terrorists,” Zarif wrote in a tweet.

    Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, former Deputy FM for Arab and African Affairs, and current assistant to Iranian parliament speaker—who by the way is very close to the Quds Force and IRGC—warned Europe about a “shocking” message and said: “The west needs to face a “shock” so it knows that we won’t stay in the one-way tunnel of the JCPOA at any cost. Currently, Europe, which has become a refuge for terrorism and the hypocrites [the Iranian regime’s official term for the PMOI], needs to receive a reasonable, wise, but [also] ‘shocking’ message.”

    Going through the official comments about Europe’s recent response to Iranian terrorist activities on its soil—which was quite mild considering the situation—one can only conclude that the JCPOA did work but only in contrast to its original intentions by emboldening an already expansionist regime that considers its terrorism on the streets of Baghdad and Beirut its strategic depth that helps it to avoid an internal crisis that has accumulated over four decades through mismanagement, blatant corruption, and nepotism.

    But it also shows that the Iranian regime still hasn’t learned that Europe isn’t just made up of appeasers.

    It wasn’t just the fanatic German Nazis who created the world war two. Chamberlin and his apologists are as much responsible for paving the way for the rise of the Nazis and the ensuing catastrophe.

    And as history shows, after Chamberlain comes Churchill.

  • Masoud Dalvand 9:42 am on 12 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Maryam Rajavi: The Iranian people’s right to resistance and freedom needs to be recognized. 

    the iranian people_s right to resistance and freedom needs to be recognized

    Masoud Dalvand (Freedom Star): On January 10, during a trip to the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the American University of Cairo in Egypt delivered a keynote speech on key issues in the Middle East.

    Pompeo mentioned important points in this address on Iran.


    In this regard, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian Resistance, issued an important statement and on behalf of the Iranian resistance, articulated the demands that had been emphasized since 1981.

    Therefore, in the current situation in cities throughout Iran for more than a year, protests and strikes by different classes of the people are under way to change the regime of religious dictatorship and the establishment of freedom, democracy and justice, it is necessary to pay attention to this important statement of the leadership of the resistance of Iran. The right of the Iranian people to resist and achieve freedom after 40 years of the Mullahs dictatorship must be recognized.

    I draw your attention to this important statement.

    ‌The U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo declared in Cairo that the United States will no longer protect Iran’s ruling mullahs. He said, “We joined the Iranian people in calling for freedom and accountability.” Therefore, “The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering.”

    The U.S. Secretary of State reiterated that when America partners with enemies such as the mullahs, “they advance.”

    Maryam Rajavi welcomed the United States’ distancing itself from policies whose first victims have been the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance.

    She once again underscored the fact that gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, violations of human rights, export of fundamentalism, and terrorism are the four pillars of the theocratic regime ruling Iran.

    The ultimate solution for getting rid of the mullahs’ religious fascism in Iran, is changing this illegitimate regime at the hands of the Iranian people and Resistance.

    Recognition of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, as the sole democratic alternative to the terrorist religious dictatorship in Iran, is imperative to rectifying and ending the disastrous U.S. policy of appeasement over the past four decades. The clerical regime which holds the world’s record in executions will only understand the decisive language of force.

    On behalf of the Iranian Resistance which has called for arms and oil embargo of the mullahs’ religious dictatorship since 1981, Maryam Rajavi reiterated on the need to take the following steps:

    1. Recognition of the Iranian people’s right to resistance to overthrow the mullahs’ religious fascism and achieve freedom;

    2. Designation of the IRGC (Revolutionary Guard Corps) and the MOIS (Ministry of Intelligence and Security) in their entireties as terrorist entities by the U.S. and the European Union;

    3. Expulsion of the mullahs’ intelligence agents and mercenaries of the terrorist Qods Force from the U.S. and Europe;

    4. Referring the dossier of human rights violations in Iran to the UN Security Council after 65 United Nations censures;

    5. Supporting the referral of the dossier of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran to the International Court;

    6. Ouster of the mullahs’ illegitimate regime from the UN and recognition of representation by the Iranian people’s just Resistance;

    7. Decisive expulsion of Iran’s ruling religious fascism and its forces from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan;

    8. Compelling the government of Iraq to pay compensation for the properties, equipment, arms and base camps the PMOI/MEK and the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA) had fully paid for and whose documents are available.

    • wizzymedpower 2:51 pm on 12 Jan 2019 Permalink

      He said, “We joined the Iranian people in calling for freedom and accountability”. We hereby joined faith to declare Freedom and accountability in the Nations of Iran Amen! Thanks Dalvand for the update..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 7:00 pm on 14 Jan 2019 Permalink

      Amen! thanks dear Israel. God bless you.


  • Masoud Dalvand 10:53 pm on 8 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Journalism, , ,   

    Iran Regime, a Threat to Journalistic Independence. 


    Masoud Dalvand (Freedom Star): In the previous article on this blog, I informed the readers about some of the malicious plans of the Iranian mullahs against it’s democratic opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), citing the statement of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ).

    In this article, I intend to publish a highly informative story from a professor and researcher at the University of Baltimore in the United States, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan who is 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.ivan shscha sheehan

    Ivan Sascha Sheehan specializes in the intersection of global terrorism, counter terrorism, and international conflict management.
    He published his article on the Town Hall website. It is a good idea to study it carefully, because it clearly shows the threats of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran to independent journalism.

    Tehran’s Influence Operations a Threat to Journalistic Independence

    For decades, Tehran’s theocratic rulers have gone to great lengths to make inroads in Western media outlets once notable for upholding commitments to journalistic independence.

    These efforts have been so successful that many such organizations are now threatened from within by assets – often disguised as journalists – portraying Iran as the victim of US-led interference and even a looming war. These instruments of propaganda are used to demonize the regime’s opponents at key moments and stave off basic freedoms that would cause the regime to collapse like a house of cards.

    Many of these so-called journalists of Iranian origin previously worked for Iran’s state-controlled media, and some parrot the regime’s talking points as if they are still on the payroll.

    Most have found comfortable homes in left-leaning media outlets in the West, including MSNBCAl-Jazeera EnglishBritain’s Channel 4 NewsThe Guardian, and The Independent, where they freely leverage their bylines to do Tehran’s bidding with little pushback.

    Here’s how they do it.

    In recent years, the regime has handpicked certain news organizations to advance a “controlled” media presence in Iran. Local assistants and translators for foreign journalists require permits from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. These apprentices normally come from the Intelligence Ministry and have prior backgrounds in local state media. Over time, they help prepare reports and interview top regime officials who would normally avoid talking to the international press. As relationships develop, those who demonstrate a particular proclivity to toe the line go on to become permanent news staff and are sent abroad.

    Though some of these journalists do, from time to time, reference human rights abuses in Iran, seldom – if ever – do they contradict the regime’s fundamental positions in critical areas such as the potential for regime change via domestic protests, the effect of sanctions in fueling anti-regime demonstrations, or the role of the organized opposition in advancing grassroots change.

    In fact, they insist, without a shred of evidence, that sanctions will harm ordinary Iranians, not the regime; US support for protesters will rally the population behind the mullahs; and the alternative to the regime is a cult that tortures its own members and wants to install an even more ruthless dictatorship. That there is not an ounce of evidence to support these claims seems not to matter.

    In recent weeks, a series of reports have been published in international media outlets demonizing Iran’s principal democratic opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK). The latest report was a 6,600-word piece by Arron Reza Merat in The Guardian that accused the MEK 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. Neither official testimony by current and former US State Department and military officials that refutes the claims nor credible assessments advanced by scholars seem sufficient to overcome the outrageous accusations.

    Note that Merat, who wrote the libelous report slandering the MEK, previously served as a Tehran-based correspondent and has been known to lavishly praise the regime’s illiberal President Hassan Rouhani.

    Al-Jazeera English also recently aired a program attacking MEK members living in Albania. Its producer and host, Will Yong, is half Iranian and previously served as an anchorman for Iran’s English-language state-television channel Press TV – an outlet headquartered in Tehran with close ties to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

    Similar pieces targeting the MEK have appeared in other media outlets as Tehran’s agents leveraging their Western press associations and bylines attempt to persuade their cosmopolitan audiences that the regime’s opponents are worse than the regime. In reality, the MEK is Iran’s largest and best organized opposition group, and its “Resistance Units” in Iran have played a key role in organizing anti-government demonstrations. The group is part of the coalition of dissident organizations that fall under the banner of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). That the NCRI is led by a charismatic woman, Maryam Rajavi, and is the only opposition movement with a clearly articulated 10-point plan for a free Iran particularly rankles the regime’s old guard.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week tweeted a rebuttal to an article in Newsweekclaiming that newly re-imposed US sanctions would prevent ordinary Iranians from accessing basic humanitarian needs. “Shame on #FakeNewsweek” for helping Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spread lies” his unusually sharp rebuke said. “The truth is: the U.S. does not, and never did, sanction food and medicine.”

    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.


  • Masoud Dalvand 9:24 pm on 7 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Demonization, , , , , , SpiegelGate   

    Is Spiegelgate the Western Press’ Worst Scandal? 


    fake news iran

    Freedom Star: During the past weeks, a news release has been published in the International media that the German magazine Spiegel has suspended two editors after fake news scandal:

    Spiegel suspended two editors after fake news scandal 

    German News Weekly Der Spiegel Suspends Two Editors After Fake News Scandal

    Der Spiegel suspends two editors after fake news scandal

    This event is known as the SPIEGEL GATE.

    Mr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a former vice-president of the European Parliament from Spain (1999-2014), and the President, International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) in this regard, issued a statement stating some important facts regarding the role of the media in cooperating with the Iranian regime and the release of fake news and articles to the mullahs’ order against their democratic opposition, discloses.

    This is a demonization campaign against the most prominent and most organized opposition group in Iran, the PMOI/MEK.

    Given the importance of this issue and the role of the media in our time, which should be enlightening and delivering real news to the people, I would draw the attention of all readers of this blog and press partners to reading this important statement.

    ISJ Press Release – Is Spiegelgate the Western press’ worst scandal?

    What about Iran’s misinformation campaign?

    Revelations of the deceit of journalist Claas Relotius, an editor of Germany’s prestigious Der Spiegel magazine, shocked advocates of the free press. It has now become apparent that most of the Relotius’s 60 reports for which he had won several journalism awards were based on lies. The German Journalists’ Union DJU called the case “the biggest fraud scandal in journalism since the Hitler diaries” in 1983 and CNN retracted its awards to him.

    US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said “the US had been the victim of institutional bias at the magazine… several of these fake stories focused on US policies and certain segments of the American people.”

    The Washington Post wrote that Der Spiegel’s anti-Trump articles had been broadly circulated in liberal circles, while the Washington Examiner wrote that Der Spiegel’s “editorial staff wanted to believe the dark and unflattering portraits he painted of America.”

    The question is, was this really the only and worst such smear campaign? Surely not. The scandal broke at a time when the influence of one of the world’s dirtiest dictatorships, the totalitarian theocracy ruling Iran, has had undue and untrue influence in the Western press for years, yet there remains a deliberate and deadly wall of silence. When occasionally it is partially broken, those with vested interests endeavor to whitewash the impropriety in order to continue their business with the mullahs.

    For some time, the Iranian regime has managed to influence some of the Western press, co-opt certain reporters, and orchestrate the recruitment of a number of its intelligence agents as journalists. The bias in 2018 of certain media outlets — notably The Guardian, The Independent, Britain’s Channel 4 TV and Al Jazeera –hostile to the Iranian opposition, in particular to the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI/MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), is quite blatant. In various formats, each has published manipulated and fabricated news on Iran against a backdrop of libelous allegations against the MEK and the NCRI. Sources and/or evidence are non-existent or so tenuous that minimal investigation would identify them as linked to the security services of the Iranian regime. Repeated correspondence by the MEK is ignored, and their denials go unpublished.

    The very ugly deception of Der Spiegel readers presumable fed the ego and pocketbook of Claas Relotius. The Guardian reporter Arron Reza Merat fattened up the brutal medieval regime in Iran with his 6,800-word article on November 9, 2018, blasting the MEK with contemptable allegations which pave the way for assassinations and murders.

    Contrary to Relotius’s reports, which only fell apart under extensive research and scrutiny by Der Spiegel, the falsehoods of Reza Merat’s articles could have been easily exposed via the Internet, or by giving minimal attention to the documents provided by the MEK press spokesperson. Many parliamentarians and English personalities decried the deceit in letters to the editor. Apparently, the hit-piece was but one of a systematic smear campaign; The Guardian had previously written similar, if more limited, articles (June 30, July 2, July 23, July 26, and October 26).

    The Guardian’s declared source for most of these falsifications were a group of mercenaries of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) in Albania, who introduce themselves as former MEK members. Documents proving their links to the Iranian embassy and MOIS have been published many times and sent to The Guardian.  When the effectiveness of each of these mercenaries is deemed expired, he or she is transferred back to Iran.

    Interestingly, one month after Reza Merat’s article was published by The Guardian, the regime’s ambassador and its intelligence station chief in Albania were expelled from this country for conspiring against the MEK. On December 14th, the US President thanked the Albanian Prime Minister for his “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe.”

    Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has acknowledged the MEK’s critical role in sustaining the popular uprisings which have inundated Iran for over a year. He said on December 12th that those outside the country want to “help the various enemies of Iran, the MEK and similar groups, to create disagreement and civil war and problems …. they may have created a commotion in 2018, but are planning for 2019.”

    Under such circumstances, “friendly journalists” who target the MEK with poisonous attacks are of great value to the Iranian regime. A smokescreen shielding the realities of Iran is raised. Some are ex-patriots who have history with Iran’s security services and media, which are totally controlled by the government. Others have vested interests in the regime’s survival.

    Documents on their links are readily available. The expulsion of the Iranian regime’s ambassador and intelligence station chief in Albania definitely raised red flags, intentionally ignored. If the editors of The Guardian and others who have published fake news targeting the MEK and the NCRI had been interested in journalistic impartiality and goodwill, they should have expelled those responsible and apologized.

    It is time to break the silence vis-à-vis the Iranian regime’s malign influence in the Western press.  Despite the embarrassment and scandal, Der Spiegel stepped up to defend the free press and all it stands for. The media outlets responsible for disseminating the Iran articles based on distorted facts and dishonest sources seem unwilling to do so. Shame on them.

    alejo vidal-quadras  Alejo Vidal-Quadras

    President, International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ)

    Former Vice-President of the European Parliament (1999-2014)

  • Masoud Dalvand 11:59 am on 6 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Free Iran 2019, , ,   

    Iran, Change Is on the Horizon. 

    iran uprising

    Freedom Star: I read an interesting article on the website of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on the current social, political situation in Iran. In this article, the horizons of the future of the country are very encouraging, reflecting the protests and strikes of the people of Iran in various cities from the capital (Tehran) to the big cities and small towns throughout Iran, indicating a change that is on the way. Changing the religious dictatorship and establishing freedom, democracy, human rights and justice in Iran. I invite you to read the full text of this informative article.

    Iran saw many protests carried out during the year 2018. They started the previous December and continued throughout the year with the people of Iran making sure that momentum was maintained. They made it very clear that they are deeply unhappy with the ruling clerical regime and it was certainly no secret that they hope for regime change.

    The people have been suffering for decades under the rule of the mullahs and they have watched their leadership plunder the nation’s wealth. The widespread corruption is present at all levels of the country’s leadership and the people are fed up with watching the regime prioritizes its malign adventures abroad over the needs of the people.

    The people of Iran are getting poorer and poorer and face further hardship. The economy is deteriorating and purchasing power is declining. And still the regime refuses to act – instead it passes the blame off on foreign powers.

    On the 30th December every year, the mullahs in Iran’s capital city traditionally line the streets to make public their celebration marking the failure of the people in their attempts to topple the regime during the 2009 uprising.

    However, this year, the ambiance was markedly different to that of previous years because of the current climate in Iran. The people’s determination for regime change and the support of the Iranian opposition is something that the ruling mullahs cannot ignore or dismiss as insignificant.

    Usually the Iranian regime would downplay critical situations and try to portray positivity but it is getting to the stage where it can no longer do this.

    A member of Iran regime’s Parliament, Jahanbackhsh Mohebinia, said that the past year has been “eventful” and warned that in the coming year “there will be a catastrophe”.

    Another member of Iranian Parliament, Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh, issued a warning about the probable spread of the uprising. He said: “When they [the poor people] are seen as a group of wronged and oppressed people, other parts of the society [the middle class] can identify with them and provide them with opportunities to further spread.”

    The regime seems more than aware that the people’s ultimate goal is regime change and it knows that there is going to be further movement across the country in the coming months. Friday prayer leader in Mashhad, Ahmad Alamolhoda, said: “This story isn’t the story of 2009. This story is much stronger and is the story of us now.”

    He explicitly acknowledges the people’s attempts to “topple the Velayat-e faqih”. “The Supreme Leader recently stated that the enemy is paving the way in 2017/2018 and wants to see its results in the 2019/2020 revolt. When ten years have passed since the 2009 revolt, the enemy wants to enter an arena where they exactly repeat the 2009 revolt in 2019/2020.”

    The year 2019 is going to be defining Iran and for its leadership. There is no chance of the people relenting in their quest for freedom, democracy and the respect of human rights and they have come so far in their struggle. This is evident even through the simple fact that the regime acknowledges the popular unrest instead of denying it.

  • Masoud Dalvand 8:46 am on 4 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    A glance at the abysmal human rights situation in Iran – December 2018 

    this year, human rights day marks the 70th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights

    Freedom Star: A brief report with a video on the human rights situation in Iran in 2018 has been published by the Iran Human Rights Monitor in YouTube, which provides useful and brief information on the horrific human rights violations in the Mullahs dictatorial regime.

    The year of 2018, Human Rights Day marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being.

    The people in Iran, however, are deprived of their most basic rights due to the horrendous violations of human rights committed by the clerical regime ruling the country. This oppression culminates in horrific scenes of public hangings, floggings, and even limb amputations.

    Prisons are overwhelmed with inmates, and conditions are intolerable and inhumane. Political prisoners, specifically, are subjected to horrendous mistreatment by the authorities.

    Iran’s judicial and security organs systematically wage a vicious crackdown on human rights defenders, lawyers, women’s and civil rights activists, teachers and labor activists, students, journalists and online media activists in blatant disregard of international and domestic standards. Hundreds of activists are imprisoned for peacefully exercising their rights. Here is a glance on the regime’s record in 2018.

    It must be stressed that the figures cited in this report have been compiled from official sources or from reliable non-governmental sources inside Iran who risked their lives to obtain the data. Therefore, they should be considered as minimums due to lack of transparency and censorship on the part of the Iranian regime and the absence of free access to information under the clerical regime.

    The Iranian regime has a dismal report card of at least 285 executions as of December 2017, including the execution of four women and six individuals who were sentenced to death for crimes they allegedly committed as children.

    An estimated 8,000 arbitrary arrests were made in the course of the month-long protests in January. At least 58 were killed during the 2018 protests and 12 jailed protesters murdered under torture. Iran must understand its atrocious crimes will not go unpunished.

    While more strong measures against Tehran are necessary, emphasis should be placed on Tehran’s human rights violations. The sanctions adopted by the US targeting institutions which have quashed dissent and are heavily involved in human rights violations, are welcome.

    Iran Human Rights Monitor urges the international community to hold the mullahs accountable for their crimes against humanity, and stand by the Iranian people in their struggle to achieve their basic human rights.

  • Masoud Dalvand 6:35 pm on 2 Jan 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Iranian officials betray their fear of “regime change” and the role of PMOI/MEK 


    Tehran Bazaar protests 2018 06 25

    Iran-Every week, Iranian clerics with strong ties to the state give sermons at Friday prayers, laying out the views of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

    Recently, Friday prayer leaders are increasingly warning about the possibility of the “overthrow” of their regime.

    Their fear from the regime change in Iran has forced them to warn the regime’s loyal forces about their main threat and in other words, their alternative.

    Who is this dangerous enemy who has the potential to topple the Iranian regime? How PMOI/MEK is considered as the main threat to the mullahs’ state? Listen to what the mullahs say.


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