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From: Joachim K11/13/2022 10:50:22 PM
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Iran Lashes Out, Warns UK to Stop Coverage of Protests

NOV 13, 2022 10:00 AM



Like a wounded animal, Iran’s government is lashing out wildly. It’s no longer just America, the Great Satan, and Israel, the Little Satan, that worry the regime in Tehran. The protests by Iranians keep on, and they are getting larger, despite the Basij and police using live fire against the protesters. So far, nearly 400 protesters have been killed, including 50 women and 35 children. Protesters are not intimidated. They have engaged in a new sport, knocking the turbans off the heads of clerics, as a sign of contempt for, and rage against, the theocrats who have ruled Iran since 1979. Iran’s doctors have joined the protests en masse; they are treating wounded protesters, and in so doing, risk their own lives. Students at 130 Iranian universities have gone out on strike against the regime. Shopkeepers (bazaaris), workers at oil and gas rigs, and in the steel industry, have now gone out on strike in solidarity with the protesters. It all started with the death of Mahsa Amini and the tearing off of hijabs. Now the protests are about much more than the mistreatment of women by the morality police; they now pointedly call into question the regime’s very existence. The crowds now chant, not “woman, life, freedom” but, more ominously for the rulers, “Death to the Islamic Republic!” and “Death to the Dictator!”

The regime wants to shut down the sources of information about the protests that are now broadcast into Iran by Iran International, a station run in London by Iranian exiles. It has been, and may still be, financed by Saudi nationals. Hence the threats from Iran being made against the U.K., an addition to the threats constantly being made by the regime in Tehran against the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia. The Iran wants the British government to shut down Iran International. That, of course, won’t happen. More on the Iranian regime’s latest threats can be found here: “Iranian official threatens UK over coverage of ongoing protests,” by Tzvi Joffre, Jerusalem Post, November 9, 2022:

Iran’s Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib claimed that the UK was leading “propaganda” efforts and feeding the ongoing protests sweeping Iran since the killing of Mahsa Amini by Iranian “morality police,” in statements on Tuesday.

Khatib complained that the US, UK, Israel and Saudi Arabia had conducted “the greatest ‘influence operation’ on a country taken to destabilize that country and create unrest in it through hybrid warfare.”

The only thing that the US, UK, and Israel have done is broadcast the truth about the protests to the people of Iran. Nothing else – no “propaganda” – need be broadcast, and none is. The truth itself is horrifying enough. Whether it is the BBC Persian Service, the VOA’s Persian service, or Israel’s state-run radio (that has been broadcasting programs in Farsi for the last 50 years), they are all in the business of getting the truth to Iranians. Saudi Arabia is also a danger to Tehran because its nationals have provided the early financing for Iran International, run by Iranian exiles in London.

The minister [Esmail Khatib] pointed to Israel as the main factor in “implementation,” saying that “in terms of propaganda, England’s role was clearer.” Khatib added that Saudi Arabia was funding the alleged “influence operation” as well.

Khatib is right to blame the U.K. both for the BBC Persian Service, which broadcasts not “propaganda,” but even more dangerous for the Tehran regime, the truth about what’s going on inside Iran, and provides a secure home for the headquarters of Iran International, broadcasting from London. It is Iran International, with its network of informants reporting to it from all over Iran, that enables a resident of Iranian Kurdistan, for example, to find out what has been happening in Khuzestan or Tehran, and allows someone in Mashhad or Qom to find out about the latest massacre in Baluchistan. Information about both the continuing protests and the violent response by the government is sent surreptitiously by correspondents inside Iran to Iran International, which then beams those reports back into Iran. Iran International now has a 33% share of the Iranian radio audience. No wonder the regime is in a rage with the U.K. for hosting this dangerous purveyor of truth.

“Unlike England, we will never support acts of terrorism and the creation of insecurity in other countries,” said Khatib. “However, we also have no obligation to prevent insecurity in those countries either. Therefore, England will pay for the measures it has taken to try to make Iran insecure.”

“Unlike England, we will never support acts of terrorism.” Minister of Intelligence Esmail Khatib appears to have forgotten Iran’s support, with money and weapons, to two terror groups, Hamas in Gaza, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran is the greatest supporter of terrorism in the world today; it has been expanding into South America, where its agents have supported Hezbollah’s two biggest terrorist attacks, one the bombing in Buenos Aires of the Argentinian Israelite Mutual Association in 1994, and the other the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in the same city in 1992. Iran has been expanding its operations, too, in West Africa, where recruits for Hezbollah, and thus for its puppet-master Iran, have been found among the groups of Lebanese Shi’a traders who have long been settled in the area.

Khatib additionally threatened the Iran International news network, based in London, calling it a “terrorist organization” and warning that its “operatives” would be pursued by Iranian intelligence. It was unclear if the minister was threatening to attack reporters in the UK.

“From here on, any kind of connection with this terrorist organization will be considered to be tantamount to entering the field of terrorism and a threat to national security,” warned the minister.

Khatib ridiculed Saudi Arabia for its alleged support of the protests in Iran, stating “our fate and that of other countries in the region are tied together due to our neighborhood.”

From Iran’s point of view, any instability in the countries of the region is contagious, and any instability in Iran can be contagious to the countries of the region,” said the minister. “Faraway countries [America, the U.K.]are the destabilizers of the region. Throwing stones at powerful Iran by countries sitting in glass houses has no meaning other than crossing the borders of rationality into the darkness of stupidity.”

The threat expressed by Minister Khatib to Saudi Arabia, is clear. ”If we suffer from instability, then the Kingdom, too, should expect to suffer the same fate.” The instability is “contagious” only because Iran will make sure to spread it. What can Iran do to “destabilize” Saudi Arabia? First, it can provide the Houthis in Yemen with more armed drones to use against Saudi oil facilities and airbases, as the Houthis have already done in the past. Second, it can stir up trouble in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where all of the country’s oil is located – and so are almost all of the country’s 3.5 million Shia, who might be susceptible to Iranian broadcasts detailing all the ways they were savagely suppressed in 2011 and 2012, and the bad blood between Shia and Sunni in the Kingdom has only worsened. If Iran has a mind to really stir up trouble, it could whip up, with its own broadcasts, anti-Saudi sentiments among that country’s Shi’a. Iran could also smuggle across the Gulf both money and weapons to the Shia in the Eastern Province. It is to this that Esmail Khatib alludes when he warns that “instability” in the region can be “contagious.”

Khatib additionally warned that Iran would not guarantee the continuation of “strategic patience” towards Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region amid what he called “the continuation of hostilities.

“Undoubtedly, if the will of the Islamic Republic of Iran is given to reciprocate and punish these countries, the glass palaces will collapse and these countries will not see stability.”

Iranian media has referred to Iran International as a “Saudi” news outlet, and IRGC officials have warned Saudi Arabia to “control” media outlets it deems as “promoting mischief” and “provoking” Iranian youth.

The Saudis are not about to rein in or censor the broadcasts — far less than what is broadcast about Iran on the BBC, VOA, and Israeli Persian-language stations — on their own television and radio stations about Iran. And even if they had wanted to, the Saudis could not now shut down, or censor, broadcasts from Iran International. That London-based station owed its existence initially to Saudi money, but now is believed to be under strictly Iranian (exile) ownership. Iran is the Kingdom’s mortal enemy; the Saudis take great comfort in the nationwide protests that are destabilizing the Islamic Republic. The warnings from the IRGC to the Saudis to “control” their media are futile. And what can Iran do to the Kingdom, other than what it is already doing, by encouraging Houthi drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities? If Iran itself – not the Houthis — were to hit Saudi Arabia directly, it won’t be the Saudis responding, but the Great Satan. A recent incident made this clear:

Last week, Saudi Arabia warned the US that there was an “imminent attack” being planned by Iran against targets in Iraqi Kurdistan and Saudi Arabia, prompting the US and other countries to raise their alert level, according to Western media. The US reportedly launched fighter jets towards Iran in response to the threats.

When no Iranian drones were launched, the planes turned back. But the incident showed American willingness to take on Iran directly, if need be. The U.S. cannot tolerate any further reduction in Saudi oil output, and will defend Saudi oil installations against any perceived threat from Iran – like the ones just made by Minister of Intelligence Khatib.

Iran International will continue to broadcast, its staff clearly unintimidated, from London. The Metro police will beef up security around the broadcasters’ headquarters and homes. Iran’s warnings to Saudi Arabia to censor Iran International’s broadcasts are pointless; Saudi nationals no longer own the station. Nor can the Iranians hope to frighten the three other main sources of truthful news about their country, that have a huge Iranian audience:: the Farsi-language services of the BBC, the VOA, and Israel’s national radio. The protests will continue to be covered; the murderers, ands, and the murderers, will be named. Iran will continue to flail and to threaten, but to no avail. In Iran, the protesters are shouting “Death to the Dictator1” The girls and women are still burning their hijabs. The Kurds and Baluchis are now chanting separatist slogans, causing tremors in Tehran. And now clerics are having their turbans knocked off. La lutte continue.
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