Dissecting this sample could reveal the integrity of a propaganda machine and the pumping of lies, deceit, and vulgarity in the last 41 years.
In several parts, we will take a look at the preparation of a propaganda agency headed by the Iranian regime Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), the state-run media, including newspapers and websites, and the state television and radio.
We will also deal with the social and cultural reaction to the death of Marjan in the media affiliated to the Iranian opposition Mojahedin Khalq (MEK/PMOI).
- After the death of the popular artist, Marjan and its wide cultural and social reflection among Iranians, some artists or sports and social activists inside Iran expressed their condolences and sympathy for Marjan’s passing.
- The regime’s propaganda apparatus, led by the MOIS, published a fake copy of the front page of ‘Mojahed Magazine No. 992, 7 June 2020’ with photos of 15 artists and an athlete inside Iran who expressed their condolences over Marjan’s death. The MEK issued a statement on 8 June, describing the Islamic Republic’s trick as dirty and denying it. It also warned the artists that the regime wanted to exploit them politically and propagandistically.
The Mojahedin statement stressed that the Mojahed journal has not been published for many years and that the MEK’s news and positions are published on the Mojahedin website. In this statement, the MEK stated that the last edition of Mojahed magazine was dated October 2015 and its serial number was 1076. While the fake publication of the Islamic Republic’s magazine has the serial number of 992 – that means 86 numbers before the last Mojahed publication.
- The MEK’s website and INTV (Iran National Television – the main Iranian opposition television station) have not published the names or photos of any Iranian personalities or artists or activists outside the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) or the supporters of the Resistance, reflecting solidarity and condolences on the death of Marjan. None of the MEK’s media outlets or the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) had published the name or image of any of the artists later published by the regime in the fake Mojahed journal.
- The regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Kayhan daily announced that “the judiciary should deal with artists who have expressed their sympathy with the singer of the hypocrites (MEK) and whose photo was published in the publication of this group.”
Given that the MEK announcement was published, and the Revolutionary Guards, the Kayhan daily, the judiciary, and all the state-run media could cite it to prove the falsity of such a publication and the falsity of such news so that at least the artists could be informed.
But the upcoming events show that virtually all the Islamic Republic’s advertising investment is based on this fake newspaper page, a counterfeit publication produced by the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence. There is no word of the MEK’s denial and disclosure in any media or website affiliated to the regime.
For two days, the MOIS played with the page of the fake magazine so that it could spread it to the state media, then put pressure on the artists and force them to declare their innocence.
(Reminder: They carried out the same scenario and hypocrisy in the case of the murder of Christian priests and the explosion of the shrine of Imam Reza with the guidance of Saeed Emami in the 1990s against the MEK. They carried out the same atrocities in the case of the Hajj pilgrimage killings in the summer of 1987 and attributed it to the MEK.)
- While the MEK did not say or write about the support of any character or artist by name or photo (except for members and artists who are members of the NCRI or supporters of the resistance), the state-run websites ‘Eghtesad 24′ and ‘Isfahan-e-Emrooz’ and several media outlets and the regime’s other websites published an identical and common headline with a cliché from a so-called Mojahed magazine dated 10 June 2020 and wrote: “Announcing the artists’ innocence of abusing their image in the Mojahedin Khalq newspaper.”
And the Eghtesad 24 website added this comment that “The Mojahideen magazine, which reflects the views of a group of hypocrites, covered the image of 15 Iranian actors and an athlete in one of its recent issues.”
- Following the publication of this fake news and while the images became public, Kayhan newspaper got involved to handle the scenario. This newspaper and its affiliated website, entitled ‘Kayhan Emrooz’, made headlines on 11 June 2020: “The censorship of the innocence of some artists, from the singer of the hypocrites.” They put out commentary on their only source which was the fake page of the Mojahed magazine: “The publication of pictures of some artists on the cover of one of the publications of the hypocrites (MEK) organization upset the artistic community, and some artists reacted to this disgraceful behavior. The hypocritical media censored the innocence of some of the artists from the female singer of the hypocrite current.”
- The question is, what news did the MEK announce about the support of artists inside Iran that they must now deny? What does that fake page of the publication of the artists’ photos by the Ministry of Intelligence – and perhaps in complicity with Hossein Shariatmadari – have anything to do with the MEK who would want to deny it?
Ironically, the MEK stressed in a statement on 8 June that the purpose of this fake publication was to put pressure on artists and force them to take a stand against the MEK.
- ‘Eghtesad 24’ and ‘Isfahan-e-Emrooz’ sites, along with Kayhan and other government websites, after a few days of projecting and pumping lies and flattery by investing in the fake and fabricated page, approached the four television actors of the regime’s TV. Four people who offered their condolences on the death of Marjan, and without their knowledge, the Ministry of Intelligence posted their photo on that fake page. Then they put the same page in front of them to take a stand against the MEK.
In this regard:
- It is clear that Iran’s MOIS has an organized and complicated propaganda apparatus to spread fake news with the help of a fake page of a Mojahed magazine.
- Just see this scenario that the regime wants to neutralize the traditional and natural reaction of several hundred thousand Iranians – whether artists or non-artists – to the death of a freedom-lover and patriot artist and turn it into a maximum pressure and threat against other artists.
From the MEK’s side:
- The Mojahedin website and the Sima Azadi TV (INTV) have never carried reports about the sympathy, condolences, and the wave of support of various Iranian groups for Marjan as a support for the MEK. They also exposed the fake and fabricated page that wanted to show condolences of the artists in support of the Mojahedin, as a dirty trick by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence against the Iranian artists.
- The MEK, over the years, has not publicized the support of other political, social, artistic, and cultural activists inside and outside Iran, to prevent any pressure and threats by the clerical regime and its horrific Ministry of Intelligence against them. This is a long-standing tradition by the MEK after the anti-monarchy revolution in 1979 until now. Therefore, it should be emphasized that apart from what the MEK officially announces on its website, the rest of the cases – such as the fake publication like this one – are all tainted with the filth of the clerical propaganda mafia.