Former Vice-President of the European Parliament: The Guardian has Stabbed the Free Press in the Back
In an open letter titled “If You Know the Truth and Call It a Lie, You Are a Criminal”, The former Vice President of the European Parliament, Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras strongly condemned the Guardian’s long article penned to demonize the MEK, Iran’s main democratic opposition.
The Guardian’s publication of its recent piece designed to attack the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) represents a threat to Europe’s free press. The three-page article by Arron Merat entitled, “Terrorists, cultists- or champions of Iranian democracy? The wild story of the MEK” pedaled unfounded lies about the Iranian opposition group and its members.
“Tell a lie that’s big enough, and repeat it often enough, and the whole world will believe it”
These words were once uttered by Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. Hitler’s propaganda machine disseminated vile lies, aimed at attacking Jews and legitimizing the Nazi attacks on the Jewish population of Europe.
As the regime intensifies its attack on the MEK the main Iranian resistance groups, both inside Iran and abroad through elaborate terrorist plots, it is using Arron Merat and the European media in the same way.
Its planned attacks against the Iranian opposition in Denmark, France, and Albania were all thwarted by European authorities in the final stages. The Iranian regime is now dealing with the political fallout of this, including a jailed diplomat, the expulsion of three diplomats in France, and frozen assets.
The regime needs to vilify the MEK to stay in power
On top of legitimizing the regime’s terror plots, demonizing the political opposition also helps shore up the regime’s power at home.
The MEK’s popularity in Iran is surging. Its role in the nationwide protests in December and January spread across every major town and city and recent truck driver protests, merchant protests, and teachers strikes have crippled Iranian society.
UK Guardian @Guardian @a_merat spreads #FakeNews to demonise Iran’s democratic Opposition #PMOI #MEK in favour of the religious fascism ruling #Iran@kathVinerhttps://t.co/6txfNJ3jKJ pic.twitter.com/B0qXXj6awj
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) November 13, 2018
In an effort to curb the rising call for regime change, the regime has sought new ways to undermine its largest political opponent; the MEK.
The Guardian was less eager to take action against the regime’s deliberate spread of misinformation. It published Merat’s article despite its editor receiving two letters from the MEK’s Press Spokesman expressing its concerns with Merat’s biased reporting.
The letters outlined Merat’s close ties to the Iranian regime and members of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).
In the piece itself, Merat exposed his lack of impartiality in the glaring lies he spouts. For example, he claims that the MEK accused Tehran of plotting a bomb attack at its Grand Gathering event in Paris the day after the conference.
In reality, it was the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office and Police that first reported the foiled bomb attack two days after the event when it disclosed the arrest of a Belgium-Iranian couple who had been travelling to the event in a car laden with explosives.
A Full Rebuttal
If the Guardian wishes to absolve itself of grossly unprofessional journalism and aiding and abetting the Iranian regime and its campaign of violence and terror against the MEK, the newspaper should publish the MEK’s rebuttal of Merat’s piece.
Former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal-Quadras also questioned the Guardian’s journalistic integrity. He said, “the Guardian has stabbed the free press in the back with its helping hand to the religious fascism which 80 million Iranians are determined to overthrow”.
He added, “this is as shameful as a British paper acting as a mouthpiece of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s”. The Guardian has the chance to redeem itself by letting the MEK share its rebuttal. It would be well-advised to grab the opportunity with both hands, lest it finds itself on the wrong side of history.