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Iran’s Global Disinformation Machine

September 14th, 2021 16:28

A for­mer FBI agent and US intel­li­gence ana­lyst has report­ed on Iran’s glob­al dis­in­for­ma­tion ecosys­tem, detail­ing the country’s vast dis­in­for­ma­tion and pro­pa­gan­da net­work. Accord­ing to a Sub­stack report by Clint Watts:

Sep­tem­ber 10, 2021 Iran’s pro­pa­gan­da and dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tions receive less atten­tion than do the Rus­sians’, but Tehran’s com­mit­ment to infor­ma­tion war­fare is sub­stan­tial. Iran can’t move the opin­ions of Amer­i­can vot­ers the way the Rus­sians might—their reach into U.S. audi­ences remains too lim­it­ed. But the Ira­ni­ans can and at times have sewn chaos amongst Euro­pean and U.S. audi­ences. Iran, despite being a region­al pow­er with lim­it­ed resources, has cre­at­ed a sig­nif­i­cant infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions capa­bil­i­ty. In total, there’s pub­lic evi­dence that Iran pro­grams in at least 32 lan­guages and oper­ates hun­dreds of web­sites and social media han­dles mix­ing true and false news. […] We found that Iran’s dis­in­for­ma­tion and pro­pa­gan­da net­work can pri­mar­i­ly be attrib­uted to three umbrel­la insti­tu­tions: The Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Islam­ic Radios and Tele­vi­sions Union (IRTVU), and the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB).

Read the full report here.

Accord­ing to the report, the fol­low­ing news out­lets and web­sites,  some already seized by the US gov­ern­ment, are part of the Iran­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion network:

  • Amer­i­can Her­ald Tri­bune (AHTri­bune) (US)
  • Real Pro­gres­sive Front (US)
  • Dari News (Afghanistan)
  • Acil News (Turkey)
  • Fak­tru (Rus­sia)
  • Siziny­ol (Azer­bai­jan)
  • IUVM Press (Iran)
  • Asia TV (Iraq, Lebanon)
  • Lualua TV (UK)
  • Al-Forat News (Iraq)
  • Ahlul­bayt TV (UK)
  • Al-Naba (Lebanon)
  • Al-Alam (Mid­dle East)
  • Al-Kawthar (Mid­dle East)
  • Press TV (Glob­al)
  • His­pan TV (Latin America)
  • Pars Today (Iran)
  • Haus TV (Nige­ria)