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Op Ed - Iranian Affairs

Iranian Regime Lies and Propaganda Antidote

The regime in Iran can be described as one of the founding fathers of “Fake News” and their measures have recently reached an unprecedented global scale. They generally say a news story enjoys a maximum lifespan of three days. It is quite interesting that Tehran has reached such a desperate status quo that it is resorting to publishing fake news reports and propaganda with a lifespan of mere hours.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
– Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s report of the USS Boxer downing an Iranian drone using electronic warfare technology, Tehran flatly denied the entire incident. Days later, CENTCOM announced the US Navy may have even downed a second Iranian drone in that incursion, resulting in even further humiliation for the mullahs.
– Iran seized a UK-flagged tanker in the Gulf of Oman while falsely claiming the ship was in Iranian waters near the Strait of Hormuz. To fuel its propaganda even further, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) released footage of a “special forces” unit boarding the ship from a helicopter. Interesting is that an IRGC military unit was fully armed and ready to kill, simply to board and take over a civilian vessel who showed no resistance at all. This again proves how Tehran is in desperate need of such Bollywood-style footage in order to save face back home.
– For months now Iranian state-media have been claiming rising tensions inside the White House, and Trump intending to fire U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and/or National Security Advisor John Bolton. However, all we have witnessed to this day is an escalation of U.S. sanctions targeting the mullahs’ regime and Trump’s further resolve to continue his “maximum pressure” campaign.
The question is why do the mullahs fall to such lows?
In the current circumstances, the mullahs have reached a point of no return and their only tools are terrorism, hostage taking and publishing fake news. In fact, this has been the regime’s language for years. Unfortunately, the appeasement policy adopted by many – and at times all members of the international community – allowed the mullahs to continue their malign measures across the board without any accountability.
The truth is poison to the mullahs. Therefore, they confiscate civilian ships and even boast about it (for domestic propaganda) and in parallel fashion, they claim the targeted ships had violated international maritime laws.
It is quite interesting that in one day Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif threatens that the Strait of Hormuz cannot be safe for others and unsafe for us, and only hours later claims the UK tanker was not seized as a tit-for-tat measure.
One only resorts to lying due to weakness and inability. To judge one’s honesty, it is common sense to look back at their history.
For example, U.S. President Donald Trump, in response to Iran’s recent claim of arresting CIA spies inside Iran, made the following statement: “Iran doesn’t know where they are… Right now, they are a very mixed up country. They do not whether they are coming or going. They have tremendous problems, economically. Their country is in turmoil. They are having demonstrations all over Iran… They lie a lot. Unfortunately, we had to shoot down a drone… They lied and said it did not happen… I read another report about the CIA. They put out propaganda. They put out lies…”

It is quite obvious that Iran’s regime is in desperate need of lies due to its continuously deteriorating position in the balance of power.
When IRGC units downed a U.S. drone flying over international water recently, the U.S. did not deny the incident due to the fact that the downing of one drone does not alter the balance of power in Iran’s favor at all.
However, Tehran acknowledging the downing of its drone would confirm its paper tiger status, portray a very weak regime in the face of increasing domestic protests, and dangerously lowers the already downed spirits of its military/security forces across the country.
Of course, it goes without saying that Iran has a long history of publishing fake news, lies and forged footage. This includes publishing photoshopped images and video footage of long-range ballistic missile launches, sending a satellite into space and other lies. Fake news has literally transformed into a state-run industry for Tehran. As a result, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have to this day suspended and closed thousands of Iran-linked accounts involved in publishing fake news.
“Twitter Inc on Thursday said it removed thousands of accounts linked to coordinated, state-backed activities it believes were from the Iranian government and archived them to its public database launched last year,” Reuters reported on June 13.
Inside Iran, the regime President Hassan Rouhani is described as a “fox” for his lies. During this election campaign, he promised to eradicate poverty and people would voluntarily return their government subsidies. Eighty percent of the Iranian population is living in poverty, according to Deutsche Welle Persian. Furthermore, signs of people offering to sell their kidneys and other body parts in order to pay debts are seen on city walls all across Iran.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, admitted in a televised interview that the regime deceived the International Atomic Energy Agency into believing they had filled their Arak heavy water reactor with cement (as part of the 2015 nuclear deal) when they had not done so at all.

With such a record of lies, one truly needs to consider each and every statement made by this regime to be a lie until proven true.
What the international community needs to understand is that if this regime actually begins telling the truth, they will be fast-forwarding their own demise.
Currently, with Obama out of office and U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House, the regime in Iran is feeling the pains of the appeasement policy it profited from during the previous administration (especially) end. There is also indication that with Boris Johnson becoming the new British Prime Minister, Tehran’s support in the Green Continent will also be suffering major setbacks.
This allows the world to view the true, inhumane and medieval nature of the mullahs’ regime that is founded on nothing but lies. “It’s part of the nature of the Ayatollah to lie to the world,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News. “I would take with a significant grain of salt any Iranian assertion about actions that they’ve taken.”
Growing domestic protests, defragmentation and increasing defections among ranks and files, and Washington intensifying its “maximum pressure” has left Tehran with no choice other than resorting to mounting lies in a desperate attempt to save face.
In a more general perspective, a weak image would embolden an already restive population to rise up once again and repeat the December 2017 / January 2018 uprising. Only this time, the regime will not be able to crackdown and overcome the people’s wrath that has been brewing for more than 40 years.

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