Regime Intelligence Minister Voices Fears about MEK’s Use of Social Media
Iranian regime Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi added his voice to the chorus of high-ranking regime officials who have recently made public comments expressing their deep concerns about the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK)’s increasing influence on the Internet and social media platforms that lead to their popularity at home, particularly among the youth.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) August 27, 2019
In a Sunday, August 25th interview with state-run television, Alavi acknowledged that the MEK is effectively using social media to counteract the regime’s propaganda. “The enemy [the MEK] is using social media better than us,” he said. Alavi added that the MEK is using the Internet to tear the regime apart.
Excerpt from Alavi’s Interview
In response to a question about the role of the MEK during the Dec 2017/Jan 2018 Iran protests, and particularly about their online activities, Alavi said:
“The Internet is a reality. We and the enemy can both use it. Time and again [Ali Khamenei] has provided solutions for our forces to use this tool as much as possible in order to pursue our goals. In this regard, we have not put all our effort and we have not used the capacity found on the Internet. The enemy has been using this tool better than us.
“Social media can be used as a tool, like a kitchen knife. The enemy can use it, too, to tear you apart. Of course, a knife should be used in an incorrect manner. The society must be taught how to use the knife and the fact is that the enemy is taking advantage of the Internet and imposing its influence. There is no doubt in the solution. We must have very calculated solutions.”
Alavi is only the latest member of the regime to voice his concerns about the MEK’s support at home and the threat it poses to the mullahs’ rule.
— MEKIran (@MEK_Iran) August 17, 2019
In February, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, the regime’s Prosecutor General, expressed similar fears in an interview with the Revolutionary Guards-linked Fars news agency.
“90 percent of the country’s cyberspace is controlled by foreigners and their main objective is to change the society’s tendencies and tastes. Everyone should react strongly through a planned process to the measures of our enemies and the [People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)],” he added, referring to the repressive measures on cracking down on activists in Iran.
Javad Javeed-Nia, Deputy Prosecutor General of Cyberspace Affairs, also expressed concern about the MEK’s mastery of social media.
“90 percent of the country’s cyberspace is controlled by foreigners and their main objective is to change the society’s tendencies and tastes. Everyone should react strongly through a planned process to the measures of our enemies and the [MEK],” Javeed-Nia said.
Tehran Press state news agency also acknowledged that the mullahs’ regime is very much behind in this struggle against the people. “Considering the specific type of our culture, we have not been able to surpass the enemy in regards to cyberspace. In fact, we have been very behind and continuously suffered heavy attacks. I can dare to say that the enemy, especially the [PMOI/MEK] organization, is in control of the Telegram platform. For those who should be familiar with this organization’s tactics, these remarks are not exaggerations at all and are in fact a reflection of our status quo.”