Former MEP reveals the extent of Iran’s tactics to demonize the MEK opposition movement
Mr. Stevenson noted that the regime’s campaign has been multi-faceted, unrelenting, well-funded, and extensive as a matter of state policy, which relies on fabricated and well-orchestrated messaging and narratives promoted by “former members” of the MEK, guided commentary by fake “opponents” of the regime, and Tehran’s burgeoning cyber army in the virtual world.
Stevenson explained that one of the tactics employed by the regime is to strictly demonize, delegitimize, and invalidate the entire resistance movement inside and outside Iran. Tehran has employed the services of so-called former MEK members who defected years or decades ago. These individuals are involved in malicious activities and disinformation against the MEK guided strictly by the regime’s intelligence and terrorist agencies.
Ruhollah Mo'men Nasab, parliamentary special advisor on the so-called "internet users projection bill" and former commander of the cyber army reveals how #Tehran has been using @Twitter for #propaganda.
#Iran #InternetFreedom pic.twitter.com/kHzjtlEFvR
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) March 29, 2022
In 2022, Albanian authorities detained and interrogated 20 Iranian nationals on charges of espionage in the service of the regime’s intelligence services. These individuals were accused of “receiving money from Iran’s secret services, the Quds Force, and the IRGC to obtain information about the MEK in Albania.”
Stevenson added that the regime’s other method to demonize the MEK is to use individuals who identify themselves as “opponents”, to criticize the MEK. Tehran devised what is commonly known within the Iranian diaspora as the 80/20 rule for those who sought its favor. This tactic means that so-called “opponents” focus eighty percent of their criticism on the obvious and unavoidable, including mild or implied criticism of the regime, in order to establish credibility. They then target the MEK for the remaining twenty percent of the time, pushing Tehran’s propaganda line.
Middle East Institute discusses "The roots and consequences of Iranian cyberattacks against Albania" and cites @Mandiant, @MsftSecIntel, @FBI and @CISAgov reports | https://t.co/lfr1uVAhJL @MiddleEastInst
— 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber) (@780thC) December 23, 2022
The former MEP explained that the ultimate objective of the regime’s demonization and vilification campaign is to set the stage for the execution of terrorist plots against the Iranian Resistance. Arefani, for example, had carried out all his activities and preparations as the groundwork for a large-scale terrorist plot.
Lastly, the regime uses its vast resources to deploy a cyber army as yet another prong in its demonization campaign against the MEK. According to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on June 25, 2019, three military organizations were playing leading roles in cyber operations: the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Basij, and Iran’s ’Passive Defense Organization (NPDO). In a striking admission in May 2022, Ruhollah Momen Nasab, a former commander of Tehran’s cyber army, provided a glimpse of its operations and said: “We created new accounts on Twitter, using the persona of other Twitter influencers who were mainly counter-revolutionary activists.” The cyber army then used these accounts to discredit the MEK and its leadership, including Maryam Rajavi.
However, the MEK has remained resolute in its opposition to the regime, and its supporters have continued to push for regime change in Iran.
MEK Iran (follow us on Twitter and Facebook), Maryam Rajavi’s on her site, Twitter & Facebook, NCRI (Twitter & Facebook), and People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – MEK IRAN – YouTu
Tags: Iran Economy, Iran human rights, Iran Terrorism, Iran Uprising, Regime Change