Media ignores regime’s ploy, prompting it to parrot the lies using state-run Tasnim news agency
Terrified of the court proceedings and implications of the prosecution of its diplomat-terrorist and his criminal accomplices in Belgium, the Iranian regime’s MOIS (Intelligence Ministry), and the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) cyber armies resorted to yet another series of lies and fabrications against the Iranian Resistance.
The ploy received no traction anywhere, prompting Tasnim, the terrorist Qods Force news agency, to regurgitate the same lies citing fabricated U.S. sources.
- On November 22, 2020, in a fake Twitter account in the name of Steven G. Bradbury, the General Counsel and the acting Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Iranian regime’s cyber army published a fake letter attributed to Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
- The Department of Transportation quickly acted on November 23 against this fake account impersonating and using the official picture of Mr. Bradbury, prompting Twitter to inform the office of the Secretary that it had investigated and removed the account. (The documents related to the complaint filed by the Department of Transportation regarding this fake account, Twitter’s reply, and decision to remove the fake account is available to the Iranian Resistance.)
- The speedy removal of the fake Twitter account undercut the calculations by the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Ministry, which had expected the tweet to gain widespread traction. Thus, on November 24, to whitewash the scandal, the regime engaged in yet another ridiculous ploy, this time fabricating an article in a blog called Medium.com in the name of a Washington Post reporter, Ms. Yeganeh Torbati. That article reprinted the fake letter attributed to Mrs. Rajavi and added, “Twitter suspended Steven Bradbury’s account, the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) after releasing messages of people who offered congratulation on Trump victory in U.S. Election 2020.” Ms. Torbati later confirmed, “That post is not written by me.” The fake nature of the report was also confirmed by the Washington Post editors.
- On November 30, Tasnim News Agency falsely claimed, “Twitter suspended the Twitter account of Steven Bradbury, the General Counsel to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The action came after he published messages by some people, including the ringleader of the MEK.” It added, “Steven Bradbury, who fully supported Trump in the 2020 election, shared tweets containing posts of people who believe in election fraud and consider Trump as the real winner.”
- In another clumsy step, the mullahs’ cyber army published the fake letter attributed to Mrs. Rajavi on an NCRI letterhead, which she has never used. The fake nature of this letter is quite evident in its tone, language, and content. Anyone with minimum familiarity with the Iranian Resistance’s lexicon and the messages and speeches by Mrs. Rajavi would quickly recognize that the letter has been fabricated in its entirety by the Iranian regime’s cyber outfits. By doing so, the regime had attempted to drive a wedge between Democrats and the Iranian Resistance.
- This is not the first time that the mullahs’ regime resorts to such scandalous and desperate ploys. On July 17, 2019, the regime used a fake Twitter account in the name of the General Consul of France in Jerusalem to report “a trip to Israel by Mrs. Rajavi.” Subsequently, France’s Foreign Ministry denied that the “fake Twitter account by France’s General Consul in Jerusalem” ever existed: “The Consul General of France in Jerusalem, Mr. Pierre Cochard, has been subjected to an identity theft on the social network Twitter.”
On October 30, 2019, the regime published six anti-MEK tweets attributed to a fake account impersonating Alexis Kohler, Secretary-General of the French Presidency. The tweets got no traction in France, prompting two MOIS discredited agents, Massoud Khodabandeh and Siamak Naderi, to retweet them, which said, “Secretary-General of the French Presidency announced that the [People’s] Mojahedin [Organization of Iran, PMOI/MEK] will soon be expelled from France!” Enraged by this brazen ploy, the Elysée Palace announced that the “Twitter account did not belong to Alexis Kohler and that this French official did not have a Twitter account.”
The NCRI’s Committee on Security and Counterterrorism again underscores the imperative of denying the Iranian regime’s access to social media. The MOIS and the IRGC cyber apparatus, while denying them to the Iranian public, only use these platforms to disseminate false and misleading reports and engage in demonizing dissidents to pave the way for terrorist activities.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
Security and Counterterrorism Committee
December 10, 2020