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The Guardian: A Mouthpiece of the Iranian Theocracy?

The Guardian: A Mouthpiece of the Iranian Theocracy?

The following letter to The Guardian is written by Mr. Paulo Casaca:

Ms. Katharine Viner

Editor-in-chief of ‘The Guardian’

On 9 November 2018 the Guardian’s website published a piece of Iranian authorities’ propaganda against their main opposition organisation, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI).

There is not a single accusation or libel within the whole piece which was not propagated before by one of the countless propaganda vehicles of the Iranian regime – though in this case presented, in pure plagiarism, as first-hand work by ‘The Guardian’. Mr ‘Arron Merat’, who signed the piece, has been propagating these materials for a long time in his twitter account, which he made private just before publishing the article.

This is not the first time the Guardian assumes the role of mouthpiece for the Iranian theocracy. Just to quote a few examples, on 2 July you developed two articles – one quoting the notorious agent of the Iranian secret services, Masoud Khodabandeh; the other quoting directly the Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs (with the usual insults to PMOI and absurd claims).

Mr Merat had given to Khodabandeh and his wife, perhaps the most well-known Iranian agents, a first account of his visit to Albania. He had previously authored in your newspaper (in 2014 and in 2016) several pieces of official Iranian propaganda on the tourism area.

His affiliation to the disinformation machine of the Iranian theocracy is a secret to no-one, and certainly not to the Guardian.

The Guardian’s relentless efforts to make propaganda for the Iranian authorities and grossly misrepresenting reality know no boundaries. The newspaper has even embraced the regime’s crimes against the environment in a piece published on 24 October.

This article embellishes by all means the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on environmentalists – and grossly underrepresents their tremendous responsibilities on such global environmental disasters as the destruction of lake Urmia – previously acknowledged by ‘the Guardian’ itself. The title of the article considers Iran to be a ‘country leading on climate change’.
Regarding the story on Ms Somayeh Mohammadi, it is a very telling story to me since I interviewed her many years ago, in camp Ashraf, following an Iranian authority’s campaign claiming she was ‘kidnapped there’. I quickly realized how slanderous the claim was.

At the time, she told me she could not accept to meet a person – even if her father – working for the Iranian secret services. The Iranian secret services were simply guilty of too many crimes, including the massacre of 30.000 political dissidents in 1988.

Since then, what once could have been difficult to understand became ever more obvious. Mr Mostafa Mohammadi, in both 2010 and 2011, participated on the spot to the Iranian-backed militia that attacked several times the camp of Ashraf – and, among various other things, kept hundreds of loudspeakers uninterruptedly broadcasting propaganda by the Iranian authorities into the camp.

The fact that the Iranian theocracy’s propaganda machine has to unearth these very old claims so as to tarnish the image of the opposition is a telling sign of its sheer lack of arguments.

Finally, I would also like to tell you that the Guardian’s claim that the PMOI – rather than the judicial authorities of several European states – is the author of the accusation on the Iranian regime for the Paris terror attempt is patently false.

I found it despicable that ‘The Guardian’ cooperates with the perpetrators of this abject terrorist plot so as to erase their finger prints.

Yours sincerely,

Paulo Casaca

Former Member of the European Parliament and co-President of the informal group ‘Friends of a Free Iran’ within the European Parliament.

Co-author of a book on Iranian regime allegations against PMOI, ‘People’s Mojahedin of Iran’ Mission Report, in 2005, author of ‘The hidden invasion of Iraq’ in 2008, leading author of the 2010 report ‘A Green Ray over Iraq’ on behalf of the ‘Commission to Study the Organization of Peace (CSOP)’. Presently, as director of ARCHumankind author of numerous studies and reports on Iran.