Why should Iran be demonised, and for how long will it go?

By Elijah J. Magnier:

An advisor to a western European Prime Minister said privately, “when the Americans want the government officials to campaign for a particular narrative, we receive a piece of paper with instructions to follow. Normally, Prime Minister or minister would contest the US dictate. Decision-makers are instructed to avoid any headache and execute Washington’s will without delay. We do it and avoid any discussion or questioning even if the US suggestions are incompatible with our interests or foreign policy.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz criticised Iran for its crackdown on foreign-backed rioters. Also, the European Union’s high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy adopted EU sanctions arising from Iran’s last 50-60 days of riots. These European positions are aligned with the US objectives, not the EU policy and interest with Tehran. So, what is it all about, and why is the increase in an aggressive stand against Iran?

US Secretary Antony Blinken campaigned for “freedom of expression“, a narrative the US uses only against its enemies or when some of its allies decide to contest Washington’s demands. Julian Assange, however, is facing 175 years in prison for doing his job as a journalist. Moreover, seizing the 24-hour English-language dot com Press TV website and sanctioning it is yet another indication of the US and its allies’ double standards. The West’s wish to bring Iran to the nuclear deal in a fragile state to force Iran to give up on its demands to guarantee that Washington will respect the JCPOA, unlike what Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden did. The other long-term – but ambitious – the goal is to destabilise and overthrow the “Islamic Republic” and replace it with a divided multi-ethnic sub-state or to impose a US “marionette” (like the son of the Shah).

From a western perspective, Iran is becoming problematic because of its unprecedented capability to dismantle the US and Israel’s objectives and to survive their maximum pressure and sabotage attacks. Moreover, regardless of the harsh sanctions, it has the financial power and the ideology to support the “Axis of the Resistance”, whose members act as one body, ready to defend their countries and Iran – and vice versa – against any menace. Also, Iran has announced that it has hypersonic ballistic missiles that any existing missile defence system cannot intercept. Israel and the dozens of US military bases spread in the Middle East, including the US fleet, are all sitting ducks for Iranian precision missiles and drones. 

It is not new for Iran to challenge the US directly when its national security is in jeopardy. Iran bombed the US Air Force base at Ain al-Assad base in Iraq in 2020, and 16 precision missiles hit the US premises and runway. Had Iran then used the capacity of these missiles to carry over 1,000 pounds of explosives warheads, they would have destroyed 20 to 30 aircraft and, as US General Frank McKenzie has said, would have killed 100 to 150 soldiers without the evacuation that took place hours before the bombing.

Also, the presence of Iran’s advanced manufacturing of drones delivered to the superpower state of Russia is changing the course of the war in Ukraine. The 40 western nations representing the EUCOM-NATO-BALTOPS INTEGRATED CAPABILITIES CONTROL CENTRE (ECCU) at the USAir Force base in Ramstein, Germany, gathered to support Ukraine, incapable of intercepting the Russian drones using Iranian technology. Also, the coalition Iran is establishing with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICs will free the “Islamic Republic” from dependency on the West, and most of the US sanctions will become tasteless. For these reasons and more, Iran is the favourite western target. 

However, the attack on Iran didn’t come only from the West. It also came from the oil-rich Gulf countries that effectively cooperated with the West, supported the riots, and used their wealth to support Persian language media and social networks against Iran. 

What is happening in Iran is not far from what Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on the 3rd of May 2017: “We will not wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia, but rather we will work so that the battle for them is in Iran and not in Saudi Arabia.” Bin Salman stated he was “transferring the battle to undermine Iran from within.” In collaboration with the western intelligence services, including Mossad, Riyadh would resort to what it used to do when employing ISIS cells or similar terrorist attacks to obtain their desired results.

Indeed, the Saudis and the US have been involved in supporting the separatist movements in Sistan-Baluchestan, dividing Iran and perhaps disrupting the activity of Chabahar harbour that is linking Iran to central Asia. Moreover, Mohamad Ibn Salman’s media is targeting Iranian youth, in parallel with demonising Iran and projecting the false impression that all Iranians are against their leaders and the Islamic system of governance.  No wonder Saudi Arabia ceased the meetings in Baghdad with Iranian diplomats after five sessions and missed out on the sixth scheduled since April. The Saudi, Emirati, Bahraini, US and Israel coordinated to destabilise Iran when President Joe 

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Biden was still a vice president and continued when Donald Trump became president.

When thousands of sanctions imposed by the US failed to force Iran into the negotiation table, it was then necessary to turn Iranian society against its leaders. A kind of “colour revolution” – that the US had already mastered in several other countries – was adopted, but this time under “women’s freedom”. For many years, these countries have been united to build a public opinion hostile to Iranian policies, targeting audiences among non-Persian Iranian minorities and focusing on depriving Iranians of social welfare (compared to the Gulf inhabitants). The mainstream media think tanks and the Iranian opposition diaspora living abroad heavily participated in the anti-Iran campaign. 

Television and radio programs were financed along with websites in Arabic, English and Persian to present the riots as an uprising all over the country. The media focused on thousands of rioters and protestors and ignored the millions of Iranians who went onto the street in support of their leaders. Social media platforms were built, and a Centre for Studies and Research on Iranian Affairs and a Persian-speaking news channel were established to broadcast news around the clock targeting Iranian youth and spreading misinformation.

Anti-Iran media is focusing on Tehran’s $24.6 billion spending on military armaments (less than half that of the Saudi budget) and financially supporting the resistance movements while reducing spending on its social affairs. Western analysts speak about “Iran’s malignant activities in the Middle East”. They refer to Tehran’s missile capability, its support of the “Axis of the Resistance” that represents a defence line for Iran and a challenge to the US hegemony over the Middle East, and the support of the Palestinians against Israel’s occupation.

Many trends on social media appeared to be effective and highly organised for brainwashing public opinion. Campaigns like “Imagine if this is Iran” encouraged think tank activists and artists to participate with photos, videos and text to raise awareness about a better way of life in the future in Iran and highlight the society’s readiness for change if the current regime is overthrown. All these are deeply thought-out tools to topple the “Islamic Republic” and deprive it of its influential voice through the media and other outlets.

The goal of the western-Arab organisers is to highlight the importance of self-expression and identity and how the youth want Iran to be if Tehran joins the West. The aim is also to show how valuable is a peace agreement between Iran and the Arab world and to overvalue the benefits of normalisation with Israel – in line with many other Gulf states. These issues are portrayed as the bridge to a modern and free world, aiming to abandon the Palestinian cause and accept US superiority. 

The real agenda is to offer good reasons for Iranians to remain on the streets, fight (60 killed and over 1000 wounded among the security forces) for the rights of Iranians, or leave Iran, highlighting the ease of life for Iranian influencers abroad. When in office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Iran must listen to the US if they want their people to Eat” it couldn’t be more straightforward as an indication of how much the US cares about the Iranian people. This sentence by one of the highest US officials confirms that Washington is starving the Iranian people and couldn’t care less about human rights and survival. It is all about breaking Iran’s will.

It is not surprising to see many people worldwide, including Iranians, falling into the trap of devastatingly powerful propaganda aiming to change Iran’s regime. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fell into a false western media invented narrative about “Iran sentencing 15,000 protestors to death” on social media, only to delete his embarrassing impulsive tweet later. Iran should expect even harsher sanctions (though few are left to impose following the US 3600 sanctions) and more aggressive attempts in the future since all the recent riots failed in their goals to “free” and topple the “Islamic Republic”. The attempts to demonise the Islamic Republic of Iran continue and are not expected to end as long as its backers are determined to batter the “Islamic Republic” into submission.

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