We Must Tackle Iran Regime’s Fake News

By INU Staff

INU - When we think of Iran’s meddling in the Middle East, we might rightly think of their sponsorship of terrorist groups or their prolonging o the Syrian Civil War, but we rarely think of their propaganda machine, which works non-stop to pump out fake news promoting the Regime’s agenda.

Indeed, the Iranian Regime funds and supports dozens of Arab media outlets, including social media, that are managed by their allies in order to praise the Regime’s victories. And Iran can never stop being perceived as victorious; after all, they do promote themselves as the hand of God on Earth.

In fact, even though former regime’s Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini publically accepted defeat in the Iran-Iraq War on television in 1988 – something that he compared to drinking poison – the war is now celebrated by Iran regime’s leadership.

In 2018, on the 38th anniversary of the start of the war, one Iran-funded television station, Alitijah, quoted Iranian General Yahya Safavi as saying that Donald Trump would never dare pick a fight with Iran if he knew how badly it ended for Saddam Hussein. While two Lebanese stations, Almanar and Almayadeen, covered in detail Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech where he said that the US should learn a lesson from Iran’s victory over Iraq.

The idea that Iran must always win means that pro-Iran pundits must claim that US sanctions on Iran will be ineffective, even if all evidence points to the contrary. The Iranian rial has lost over half its value against the US dollar since Trump reinstated sanctions last May, but pundits claim that we are living in a “post-dollar” era.

While others try to claim that the liberal West is a failed experiment and that Iran is somehow a world leader in technology, manufacturing and agriculture. If that were true, then why does it not have the money to back it up? Why does it have to slash prices to keep countries buying its oil?

Iran also ignores news that is harmful to it, such as the December decision by the UN Human Rights Council to denounce Iran’s “severe” rights violations, meaning that no one watching their programmes will ever get the full story.

Hussain Abdu-Hussain wrote: “Like Iran itself, Iran-funded Arabic media live in a parallel universe, often disregarding rules of journalism, disseminating propaganda and offering contradictory reports. The pro-Iran Arabic media outlets might be shinier than their state-run predecessors, but in terms of content, they offer the same controlled message that Tehran wants to spread, not only in Iran but throughout the Arabic-speaking region.”

If the international community wants to get serious on tackling the problem of Iran, as it should, then it needs to tackle their use of fake news.