Iranian-backed Press TV has published an article by American author and radio host Stephen Lendman. describing the COVID vaccination program in the West as a “state-sponsored conspiracy against human health and well-being — a widespread crime against humanity.” According to the article:
What’s going on in the US and West is a state-sponsored conspiracy against human health and well-being — a widespread crime against humanity. We’re being lied to and deceived by Big Government and Big Pharma in cahoots with Big Media.Experimental unapproved COVID vaccines don’t preserve and protect health as falsely promoted. They risk serious harm to health or death. They create customers for other drugs that in combination can also be hazardous. Time and again, vaccines cause diseases they’re supposed to protect against.
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The article relies upon multiple medical “experts” known for peddling various disinformation and conspiracy theories about the COVID epidemic. In June 2020, for example, Irish media described “molecular biologist/immunologist Dolores Cahill” as follows:
A University College Dublin (UCD) professor, who chairs the Eurosceptic Irish Freedom Party, has been asked to resign from a leading European Union scientific committee over online claims she made about the Covid-19 pandemic. In an hour-long interview with a popular alt-right activist on May 10th, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, Prof Dolores Cahill promised to “debunk the narrative” of the pandemic. Lockdown and social distancing is not needed to stop the spread of the virus, she said. People who recover are then “immune for life” after 10 days and deaths and illnesses could have been prevented by extra vitamins, she claimed. People with underlying health conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, could freely engage in society during the pandemic after spending a few weeks building up their immunity in this manner, she went on. Opposing vaccinations, Ms Cahill said “politicians and the media” are using Covid-19 “as a fear-mongering propaganda tool to try and take away rights from people and to make them more sick and to force vaccinations on us.” However, the European Commission said the claims made by Ms Cahill, a professor of translational medicine in UCD, could cause “significant harm”, if taken literally.
Dr. Elke De Klerk, another individual, cited in the article, headed a group that claimed in a video, “We do not have a pandemic” and called COVID-19 a “normal flu virus.” The video was since removed from YouTube for violating its Terms of Service.
According to his bio, Lendmen is a retired businessman who began writing on major world and national issues in 2005 and is currently hosting the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. Iranian media frequently cite his pro-Iranian writing, such as a recent interview with an Iranian news agency in which he described the US-backed killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qasem Soleimani as follows:
General Soleimani was key in the fight against regional terrorism the US, NATO and Israel support. That’s why he was targeted for elimination,”
In October 2020, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported on the US Department of Homeland Security “Homeland Threat Assessment” which described the Iranian role in spreading what are called “false narratives” concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the DHS report:
Iranian online influence actors are employing inauthentic social media networks, proxy news websites, and state media outlets to amplify false narratives that seek to shift responsibility for the COVID-19 pandemic to the United States and other Western nations. Tehran probably will continue to malign the United States for enforcing economic sanctions, arguing these sanctions hinder Iran’s ability to put forward an appropriate public health response to the pandemic. Iranian actors have spread COVID-19 disinformation and false narratives through videos, cartoons, and news stories from state media outlets on popular social media platforms to appeal to U. S. and Western audiences. Iranian operatives have covertly used proxy networks and sites to advance narratives suggesting that the United States created the virus as a bioweapon, that Western media is spreading lies about COVID-19 in Iran, and that the Iranian response to the pandemic was better than that of the United States.
Press TV is part of the media structure of the Iranian influence network. It was founded in 2007 and is sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Iran’s state-run television operation. According to its website, Press TV “takes revolutionary steps as the first English broadcasting international Iranian news network.” Press TV had its UK broadcasting license revoked in January 2012 by British communication’s regulator Ofcom, which found that the channel was running its editorial from Tehran and not from the UK, thus breaching the Communications Act. In the UK, the channel is directed by film director and writer Hamid Khairoldin, who is also connected to other pro-Iranian media outlets. A 2015 report by the US Anti-Defamation League details various antisemitic themes and conspiracy theories promoted in its programs.