By Ali Safavi
This week, as informal negotiations are held in Vienna to bring the Iranian regime into nuclear compliance, Tehran’s delegation is desperately trying to portray an image of strength and influence to extract concessions from its foreign interlocutors.
In reality, after a series of nationwide uprisings calling for democratic change, an economy in complete ruin, tens of millions of people in poverty, and an uncontrollable global pandemic wreaking havoc in Iran, the regime is fighting for dear life.
The only thing it really needs right now is to score some sort of victory – anything – against its main enemy, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), whose popularity and influence inside Iran are growing by the day.
Suddenly, pro-regime zombies are creeping in to help it. These include the mullahs’ familiar vestibules on the web, including the Daily Beast, which is essentially turning into one of the regime’s billboards after running a frenzy of anti-MEK propaganda for years.
On Tuesday, the Daily Beast ran another sensationalist headline celebrating Facebook’s “busting” of Iranian dissidents’ “elaborate troll farm operation.” The Daily Beast’s latest hyperbole is peppered with ingredients unabashedly copied and pasted from websites known to be controlled by the regime’s intelligence services.
Talk about being busted for engaging in a troll operation – from Tehran!
The old and stale watchwords of the mullahs’ troll farms mysteriously infiltrate the otherwise pitiable juvenile detective work in the latest edition of the Daily Beast’s MEK paranoia: “Marxist,” “strict control of members,” “cult,” “torture,” etc.
And in an original take on comedy, the “Beast” even reinvents Iran’s history by forging a MEK-IRGC alliance against the Shah in the 1970s. Funny, the IRGC wasn’t even around until after the Shah’s overthrow!
Still, why the infantile cheers and applause for the supposed busting of a troll farm if the MEK is nothing but an insignificant “cult” as the regime and its American billboard claim?
The creator of the world’s most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, once wrote, “No man burdens his mind with small matters unless he has some very good reason for doing so.”
Could the Beast’s good reasons be to prop up a decaying regime by bashing its main opposition to make way for US concessions to Tehran?
It is common knowledge that all the rusty anti-MEK propaganda manufacturers are the regime’s intelligence services troll farms. In fact, the MEK’s “troll farms” were first “discovered” and widely publicized by none other than the regime’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and its ambassador to Britain in 2018. And then the allegations were ceaselessly rehashed by the regime’s troll farms in Tehran. Go figure!
The MEK has, time and again, denied such allegations while inviting tech giants to contact its offices to investigate the claims of the illusory troll farms in Albania. The burden of proof is on the other side.
In the end, both the mullahs’ hirelings and their incompetent amateur advocates should know that with or without the Iranian regime’s lies about “troll farms,” the regime’s days are numbered, just like any other dictatorship in history. As the leader of India’s Independence Mahatma Gandhi said, “Remember that all through history…. there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” Rational or sane people do not need to be under the influence of troll farms to come to grips with that reality.
“Beast of burden” is defined as an animal employed to carry heavy loads (such as pulling a plow).
The Iranian regime’s farmers of death and misery are farming out their propaganda operations, and The Daily Beast is, sadly, the mullahs’ “Daily Beast of Burden.”
Safavi (@amsafavi) is an official with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).