Iran Opposition Issues a Warning over Upcoming Channel 4 Report
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) issued a warning, it has reason to believe the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and the British television network, Channel 4 are working together to defame against the MEK.
An Eleventh-Hour Warning
Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4’s Foreign Editor, submitted a letter to the MEK on August 31st, 2018. In the letter, it warned the Iranian opposition organization that the television network would air a report on the MEK’s activities in Albania.
On August 10, 2018, Ms. Hilsum secretly filmed & photographed the residences of the #PMOI in Albania
What is the mission of the dubious filming crew; which party chose its members & what were the considerations for their selection?#StopYellowJournalism against #MEK@Channel4News
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) September 2, 2018
The report will carry the much-touted falsehoods and accusations pedaled at the behest of the Iranian regime. In his letter, Hilsum declared that if the MEK had a response to the allegations, it should submit them to Channel 4.
Hilsum’s actions beg the question: why wait until the eleventh hour to warn the MEK and solicit a response? The preparation and production of such a report would have taken weeks or even months, yet the network waited until the last moment to contact the MEK.
— Zolal Habibi (@Ashrafi4ever) September 2, 2018
This decision was likely made to prevent the MEK from mounting a legal challenge against the allegations made in the report.
The MEK had prior knowledge of the report after the detention of three Channel 4 reporters on August 10th for illegally filming the MEK compound in Albania without permission.
On August 10th and 13th, the MEK and NCRI wrote to Channel 4’s editor-in-chief. In the letters, the groups expressed concern over the detained reporter’s footage ending up in the hands of the Iranian regime (which was later confirmed when photos and footage of the MEK in Albania were posted on the Facebook page of regime agents). However, they received no reply.
On August 16th, the NCRI released a statement revealing the cooperation between Channel 4 and regime MOIS agent, Massoud Khodabandeh. The NCRI expressed concern that the cooperation indicated the regime’s exploitation of Channel 4 to further its terrorist objectives.
A justification for Foiled Terror Plots
In a statement, the NCRI suggested that the Iranian regime would use the Channel 4 report to provide justification for its foiled terror attacks. The MEK were the targets of a failed bomb attack during the Nowruz (Persian New Year) celebrations and at the organization’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris this summer.
By demonizing the MEK, the regime would attempt to justify the attempted terror attacks. The timing of the Channel 4 report is also deliberate. The UK Foreign Office Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt, visited Iran this weekend.
A One-Sided Narrative
Channel 4 did not cover the foiled terror attacks carried out by the Iranian regime. It has made no attempt to offer accredited, impartial journalism. The report on September 3rd has used well-known regime agents as sources, including Mostafa Mohammadi.
Warning #StopYellowJournalism Against #MEK: Demonization Efforts by UK @Channel4News,Setting the Stage for #Terrorist Acts Against #PMOI/ MEK Refugees in Albania https://t.co/xAuiZi8U2B@Ofcom @Lindseyhilsum @thebarcouncil @commonsCMS @TheLawSociety @Sjmc65 @Kirsty_Brimelow #Iran
— Ka Veh (@kaveh20092009) September 2, 2018
The report comes at a time when the regime seeks justification, recognition, and above all, stability. Protests rack Iran every week. The Iranian population has clamored for regime change in the streets. The regime’s very existence is under threat. It needs to utilize its allies and media connections now more than ever. The upcoming Channel 4 report is the product of a regime in crisis. It is the verbal manifestation of Rouhani and Khamenei’s uncertain future.