Iran Regime’s Misinformation Campaign Slips Past Editors of Distinguished Publication
By Staff Writer
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) as a part and together with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) are the biggest threat to the Iranian regime. They are the regime’s main, and only viable, opposition. They have also been the main target of the regime’s notorious propaganda machine.
The Iranian regime has constantly spread lies about the opposition and it has put a lot of resources into countless misinformation campaigns.
Normally this would not be such a concern because here in the West we have unbiased news agencies that would not fall for such propaganda. However, it seems that this is not the case. On 9th November, The Guardian published an article by Aaron Reza Merat.
The article, entitled “Terrorists, cultists – or champions of Iranian democracy? The wild, wild story of the MeK”, was full of untruths and false information and it somehow slipped past the editors of what is considered a respected publication.
Merat has tried to portray the MeK as holding members captive and not allowing them to leave of their own free will. In particular, he mentions the case of Mustafa Mohammadi who tried to “rescue” his daughter from the MeK.
His daughter, Somayeh, was one of the opposition members who had been residing in Camp Ashraf, and later Camp Liberty, in Iraq. The dissidents had been subjected to a number of attacks by Iran over the years and were eventually all released. Somayeh was one of the residents that was transferred to Albania with hundreds of other MeK members.
Her father kicked up a storm in the media by saying that he was unable to rescue his daughter from the clutches of the MeK and that she was being held against her will.
However, this is very far from the truth and it would not have been too difficult for The Guardian to find the truth. For one, Somayeh has been interviewed by the FBI who determined that she was there of her own free will.
Colonel Martin, former U.S. Department of Army’s Chief of Information Operations and former Senior Antiterrorism Officer for all Coalition Forces in Iraq as well as Commander of Camp Ashraf, states that Somayeh or “any other resident” was free to leave Ashraf at any time if they so wished. He, and many others, have confirmed that Somayeh has categorically rejected her father’s claims.
Furthermore, Merat wrote in his article for The Guardian that the MeK camp in Albania is guarded like a fortress. Again, Colonel Martin points out that this is nowhere near the truth. He has been there on several occasions and confirms “there are no fighting positions, which would be useless anyway because there are no weapons inside the compound”.
It is a major disappointment, and concern, that supposedly highbrow new publications can be so naïve and quite frankly negligent. There are even more points that Merat brings up that are easily proven to be lies. The Guardian editors should have been able to find one of the many untruths in this article so that the author’s claims could be scrutinised.