The Iranian state media produced over 300 movies and TV shows between 2015 and 2016 that were designed to demonize and discredit the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), while in 2016 alone the regime published 14 different books for the same purpose.
Nothing has changed. The regime has at least 13 websites, a monthly magazine, and countless social media accounts that perpetuate this disinformation campaign year-round.
The regime has made all of these efforts to somehow discredit its viable alternative. These actions show the regime’s utter fear of the MEK potential in leading the struggle for freedom in Iran. This was shown back in 1981 when the group led a 500,000-strong anti-regime march in Tehran; one that was brutally crushed by regime agents who used live ammunition on peaceful protesters, killing hundreds. This failed to quash the group though, so the regime issued a crackdown, which culminated in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK members. Even this could not stop support for the group, so the propaganda machine was born.
Even this has failed though, despite the number of resources thrown at it, with the Iranian people rising up in the 2017 uprising (and ever since) to express their support for the MEK and call for regime change; chanting both “down with the dictator” and “reformists, hardliners, the game is up”.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and many other officials have been forced to acknowledge that the MEK is the driving force behind these protests.
It seems as if the propaganda campaign was designed, not to fool the Iranian people, but the Western media, who often report regime talking points without even investigating them. These are routinely challenged in court by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
The NCRI wrote: “The failure to adequately vet these sources is perplexing in light of the conditions inside Iran today. With two nationwide uprisings in recent memory and another very likely looming on the horizon, the Iranian regime has tremendous incentive to step up its disinformation campaign against Resistance activists both at home and abroad. Meanwhile, hundreds of recent broadcasts and publications by Iranian state media demonstrate that the regime clearly has the media infrastructure to pursue that campaign on a grand scale… Each country’s success or failure in rooting out Iranian disinformation could determine whether or not that country stands on the right side of history the next time Iranians rise up, led by the MEK, and demand fulfillment of that organization’s longstanding promise of democracy and freedom for all.”