MEK Iran: Fake Domains Used by the IRGC for Propaganda Purposes
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been using fake domains to spread misinformation and propaganda about Iran. 27 domains were seized by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday that the DoJ said were deliberately being used covertly for spreading lies about the U.S. presidential election or pro-Iranian news.
Four of these domains: “criticalstudies.org”, awdnews.com”, “ahtribune.com” and “rpfront.com” were specifically targeted at the U.S. public and the other 23 were directed elsewhere in the world.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday it has seized 27 website domain names that allegedly were unlawfully used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to further a global covert influence campaign.https://t.co/ICJvuSp7kN
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) November 5, 2020
The DoJ said that the four U.S. directed domains were illegal as they did not meet the criteria for website creation as the holders did not submit any information which could verify that the information contained was truthful and also did not verify whether income was generated by them.
The domains were detected by collaboration between the FBI and major internet platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
The four domains come after 92 others were shut down by the DoJ last month for similar reasons.
— FBI SanFrancisco (@FBISanFrancisco) November 4, 2020
U.S. National Security attorney general, John Demers, said that the domain seizure was part of an ongoing attempt to shut down or seize Iranian fuel, weapons, and covert terrorist or misinformation infrastructure as part of sanctions imposed on the regime. “As long as Iran’s leaders are trying to destabilize the world through the state-sponsorship of terrorism and the taking of hostages, we will continue to enforce US sanctions and take other legal steps to counter them,” said Demers.
Late last month, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned five so-called Iranian media outlets which had been disguised by the Iranian regime and had the specific purpose of interfering with the U.S. presidential election.
One fake news outlet with its origin from the Iranian regime pretended to be from the far right-wing “Proud Boys” white supremacist group and was aimed at intimidating Democrat voters if they didn’t vote Republican.
.@TheJusticeDept: United States Seizes 27 Additional Domain Names Used by #Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to Further a Global, Covert Influence Campaign.
Action Follows Last Month’s Seizure of 92 #IRGC Domains. #CyberSecurityhttps://t.co/jrY7VIz1x1 pic.twitter.com/jqSgDp5bl0
— Amir R. Bolurchi (@ablrchi) November 5, 2020
130 Iranian Twitter accounts were removed by Twitter just after the first presidential debate with the aim of disrupting public comments about it. The FBI apparently passed on the information about these accounts to Twitter. A Twitter source said, “we identified these accounts quickly, removed them from Twitter, and shared full details with our peers, as standard.”
Fake news by the Iranian regime, mainly issued to distort the truth about the state of the economy, the real status of the Covid-19 outbreak, and the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), is second nature.
The regime has spent billions of dollars of money belonging to the Iranian people on producing fake news in all its possible different forms, in a vain attempt to vilify the (PMOI / MEK Iran).
Mullah Nasser Rafie was supposed to mourn the death of the third Shi'ite Imam at a religious ceremony but instead expressed utter fear over #MEK's role in exposing the regime's crimes on social media and warning of the impact it has on society #FreeIranhttps://t.co/Eh1stfPBBQ
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) September 1, 2020
This sort of trick employed by the Iranian regime is certainly not new. One of the things that have been done to vilify the (PMOI / MEK Iran) is to publish fake copies of the Mojahedin journals and circulate them around the prisons. One of the most memorable lies was an article published back in June 2003. The article suggested falsely that the (PMOI / MEK Iran) leader and 4 other officials had been arrested by American forces and taken to an unknown location with “al-Qaeda leaders in Iran.”