MEK and The Iranian Regime’s Culture of Lies
Lying in the religious dictatorship of the mullahs in Iran is an important tool in spreading domestic repression and terrorism abroad
The case of the Ukraine International Airlines PS752, being shot down with two missiles fired by units of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), raised anti-Tehran anger both inside Iran and across the globe.
To make matters worse, despite the damning evidence of videos circulating on social media, Iranian regime officials began denying any wrongdoing and lying blatantly. For those familiar with the mullahs’ 40-year reign in Iran, this was more of the same of the mullahs’ use of lies as a matter of policy.
In the early hours following the PS752 incident, Iran’s state-run Mashreq news and other such outlets held Boeing responsible for the crash and dubbed the plane as a “flying coffin.”
The Iranian regime also lied about the plane’s black boxes, first claiming they have not been found, only to later say one has been found and quickly making it clear they will not be sending them to Boeing or the U.S. for evaluation. A very simple question that comes to mind is that what does Tehran have to hide?
It is also worth noting that even without launching any investigation, Iranian authorities began razing the crash site with bulldozers, tampering much needed and highly sensitive evidence. Again, what was Tehran so worried about that it began bulldozing the entire crash site?
Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani, being the first senior Iranian official to make comments on this matter, issued a very general and hollow message of condolences to the grieving families, merely saying an investigation is underway. It is worth noting that Rouhani also chairs the regime’s Supreme National Security Council and is fully informed about all details in this regard.
As more videos began circulating on social media showing surface-to-air missiles fired towards the Ukrainian airliner, the Iranian regime’s armed forces main spokesman fully denied such reports. “This is most certainly a plot pursued by [dissidents] seeking U.S. interests and is yet another conspiracy in the psychological war against the [mullahs’ regime].”
With the issue becoming all the more damning for Tehran, the regime’s media choir (echo chamber) became even more active. “An informed source in the Imam Khomeini airport said the plane had a technical error and the Iranian engineer does not provide permission for the flight, as seen in the documents. However, the Ukrainian engineer working for the airline company was against such a decision and said the flight will go on as planned,” the reports read.
"For too long #Iran lobbies have worked to divide us through lies& by propaganda, this must stop. We must put an end on the MOIS disinformation &stop the lobbies' echo-Chamber against the #MEK &the #NCRI.We need 2b focused on the threat of the #Iranian regime.#IranConferenceNYC pic.twitter.com/5RDlsamZRG— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) September 24, 2019
Realizing their echo chamber of lies has failed in sliding the issue under the carpet, Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered an emergency Supreme National Security Council session on Friday, January 10, in which senior regime officials decided to acknowledge the plane was shot down but the person who pressed the button is to blame.”
Furthermore, following more denials about shooting down the plane and constantly branding the entire incident as an “accident,” Tehran just recently recognized the fact that the Ukraine airliner was shot down with not one, but two SAM missiles. This raises even more doubts over Tehran’s claims of this issue being nothing but an accident.
Of course, this is not the first time that the mullahs’ regime resorts to such lies. In the Yourt mine collapse, the Sanchez ship fire incident, flight ATR72 crashing into the mountains of south-central Iran, the Plasco building fire that led to its collapse, the “chain murders” of the 1990s, the summer 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, the 1994 bombing of a major religious site in northeast Iran, murdering Christian priests and blaming the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and hundreds of other crimes. All follow the same playbook.
All these media broadcasts and publications place a heavy toll on the regime’s budget, yet the importance of such measures parallels its internal crackdown and its exporting of terrorism. During the past 40 years, there is not a single case of transparency by the mullahs’ regime. In fact, we have witnessed four decades of lies by the mullahs’ propaganda machine. Tactically, Tehran responds to all crises with lies. Strategically, Tehran seeks to tarnish the image of its opposition, the PMOI/MEK, to claim its rule has no alternative.
Demonizing dissidents, especially the PMOI/MEK and Its umbrella coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), as the regime’s main alternative, has been the objective of a conglomerate of regime entities. This includes state TV and radio, the film industry, publishing hundreds of newspapers, weekly and monthly magazines, hundreds of websites in various languages on the internet, publishing thousands of books to distort Iran’s modern history and even go as far as distorting history in history books taught in classes in order to brainwash the minds of millions of kids.
In parallel fashion, hundreds of thousands of social media accounts are managed by a cyber army that is active in influencing public opinion by both criticizing Tehran and the opposition. This provides the cover of not being described as a pro-Iran voice while also criticizing the opposition.
Twitter said it had removed about 2,800 accounts originating in Iran at the beginning of May, but it did not tie the accounts to the country’s government. In March of this year, Facebook removed 513 accounts affiliated to Iran for their coordinated effort of manipulation.
“Working with our industry peers today, we have suspended 284 accounts from Twitter for engaging in coordinated manipulation. Based on our existing analysis, it appears many of these accounts originated from Iran,” Twitter said in August 2018.
Working with our industry peers today, we have suspended 284 accounts from Twitter for engaging in coordinated manipulation. Based on our existing analysis, it appears many of these accounts originated from Iran.— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) August 22, 2018
As a result, the uninformed reader would come to the conclusion that the regime has no alternative and the world needs to somehow come along with the mullahs in power.
Lying for the mullahs’ regime is like blood in the veins of a living animal and oxygen for a suffocating individual. Lying literally means to be or not be for the regime ruling Iran.
The mullahs began their lies and demonizing against the MEK from the early days following the 1979 revolution. Attacking MEK offices in various cities and towns, and even launching immoral lies about relationships between MEK members. With the MEK gaining more popularity among the Iranian population, these lies would become all the more blasphemous. The objective was none other than tarnishing the MEK’s image as the mullahs’ main political and ideological opponent.
The Iranian regime’s lies against the PMOI/MEK, including the “killing of Iraqi Kurds and Shiites,” “training women for suicide attacks,” “compulsory divorces” “forced separation of children from their parents,” “holding people inside the MEK against their will,” “MEK members being present on the borders of Iraq and Syria” and “collaboration with ISIS and al-Qaeda” have all been brewed by the regime’s propaganda machine in this very objective. Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini even claimed the MEK are spies for the Soviets, the U.S., and Israel, all at the same time!
When facing criticism about his forces attacking MEK members, Khomeini literally said MEK members attack themselves, “torture themselves,” to thus blame it on the regime’s forces.
As mentioned before, the Iranian regime’s propaganda machine is specifically very active against the PMOI/MEK. For example, 14 books were published through the span of 12 months in 2016 aimed at spreading lies about the MEK. The regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) also publishes a monthly magazine about the MEK, of which the 21st edition provides a 340-page report marking the MEK’s 50th anniversary filled with lies and distorted facts about modern Iranian history. The MOIS also has branches in most of Iran’s 31 provinces that focus their efforts against the MEK and literally harass their family members.
Iran MOIS’ Futile and Disgraceful Ploys Targeting Iran Resistance— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) August 14, 2019
Crazed acts of Iran’s cyber war machine to counter Resistance’s international campaignhttps://t.co/ehWUXarf8d pic.twitter.com/ACvKbw4eEa
The Iranian regime also allocates a massive budget to make hundreds of movies against the PMOI/MEK. From the summer of 2015 to the summer of 2016, the mullahs’ propaganda apparatus produced 332 movies, documentaries and TV series against the MEK, with each TV series consisting of numerous episodes. One certain TV series named “The Parliament,” airing during the 2015 Majlis (parliament) elections in Iran, consisted of 31 episodes.
The MOIS also manages more than 13 different websites specifically focused on spreading lies about the MEK. Most of these websites are in Farsi, while some also publish their content in other languages. Websites affiliated to the IRGC and other Iranian regime entities are also very active in this regard.
The Iranian regime’s MOIS has a long history of publishing fake news. The process starts with hiring a foreign or Arab reporter. This individual then publishes a news report forged by the MOIS about the MEK in a low-ranking website or newspaper under his own name. Then the Iranian regime’s media machine cites this report from that particular website or news and begins a widescale circulation of the topic.
Tehran is also known to have paid a foreign website or newspaper to interview one of their known agents while describing him/her as a “terrorism expert” or “MEK expert” and not mentioning any association to the mullahs’ regime. Once again, the regime’s media machine parrots the interview citing the certain outlet.
The Iranian regime has specifically instructed its apologists and lobbyists abroad to follow a policy of “80-20”, meaning focusing 80 percent of their content on criticizing the mullahs’ regime and 20 percent on the MEK. Through such a narrative they can deceive their viewers and cover their true allegiance to Tehran.
The mullahs’ true nature is also fully revealed in a review of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War. The regime prepared the grounds for this war to maintain its inhumane rule and continue its domestic crackdown rampage against Iranian people’s interests.
Khomeini’s war cost the Iranian people 2 million dead and injured, 50 cities destroyed, 3,000 leveled villages and $1 trillion in damages, according to former Iranian regime President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
The MEK entered the war in the early days against the Iraqi forces while the regime’s IRGC were shooting at them from the back. As Iraqi forces retreated behind internationally recognized borders and Baghdad announced its readiness to accept a ceasefire, the MEK considered the continuation of the war against the Iranian people’s interests and began a pro-peace campaign.
The MEK’s pro-peace initiative was one of the main reasons Tehran needed to launch a massive demonization campaign against this organization. For years pro-Iranian regime propaganda outlets have been using terms such as, “the enemy’s fifth column” and or “collaboration with the enemy...”
While there is no argument over the terrorist nature of the mullahs’ regime in Iran supporting international terrorism for decades now, it is quite hypocritical to see Tehran accuse its main opposition, the MEK, as a terrorist organization. The mullahs’ regime has gone the distance in the variety of lies on this matter against the MEK.
Accusing the MEK of the horrific crimes carried out by the MOIS and its criminal affiliates is just one example. The list includes bombing a sacred shrine in the city of Mashhad in northeast Iran and murdering Christian priests are among these examples.
Following the chain murders of the 1990s and the arrest of former MOIS deputy Saeed Imami, the regime’s own officials acknowledged that the notorious MOIS had murdered the Christian priests, bombed the sacred shrine and … in order to lay the blame on the MEK.
To nail the coffin on this conspiracy, numerous prestigious courts in Europe and the U.S. ruled against the MEK’s terror designation and recognized the Iranian Resistance’s right to continue its struggle against the mullahs’ regime.
The Iranian regime has even gone as far as providing fake intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction to lure the U.S. into the 2003 war.
- Todd Wood wrote in The Washington Times on February 21, 2019:
I refer in particular to the way Tehran used both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, albeit in different ways, to promote its own interests in the Middle East and put its troops on Israel’s doorstep, all to fulfill a long-held dream of eradicating the Jewish state from the map. Although it can seem like ancient history, we’re living with the consequences to this day.
Mr. Bush was told that Iran was the major threat in the region, not Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. He was told that if he invaded Iran, the mullahs would make life hell for American troops. He was told that Iran wanted to take control of Iraq. I know, I’ve talked to the people who told him.
Enter Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi politician who was in bed with Iranian intelligence services and fed Mr. Bush false information about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction. Don’t believe me? Just Google it. Scott Ritter, the American weapons inspector said Mr. Chalabi boasted openly of his intelligence sources in Iran and even offered to set up a meeting with the head of Iran’s intelligence service.
Another report sheds even more disturbing light on the Iranian regime’s use of lies:
The CIA was largely skeptical of Chalabi and the INC, but information allegedly from his group (most famously from a defector codenamed "Curveball") made its way into intelligence dossiers used by President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to justify an invasion of Iraq. "Curveball", Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, fed officials hundreds of pages of bogus "firsthand" descriptions of mobile biological weapons factories on wheels and rails. Secretary of State Colin Powell later used this information in a U.N. presentation trying to garner support for the war, despite warnings from German intelligence that "Curveball" was fabricating claims. Since then, the CIA has admitted that the defector made up the story, and Powell said in 2011 the information should not have been used in his presentation. A later congressionally appointed investigation (Robb-Silberman) concluded that Curveball had no relation whatsoever to the INC, and that press reports linking Curveball to the INC were erroneous.
It is quite obvious that the Iranian regime is an establishment based completely on lies. To understand the nature of this regime, it is necessary to understand that all remarks from this regime must first be met with skepticism, to say the least.
The Iranian people have come to learn anything and everything mentioned by regime officials and news outlets are lies. Only through such a viewpoint can one correctly evaluate the mullahs and implement the necessary solutions to confront this regime.