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New York Times pushes Islamic Republic propaganda in its coverage of Iran protests

The New York Times is standing with the Islamic regime in Iran and Iran proxy Hizb’Allah, which has, like the Times, “dismissed” the protests. Here the Times gives a full airing to the mullahs’ preposterous claims that foreign agents engineered the protests. There is no entity that hates America that the Times will not stand with and propagandize for, no matter how repressive. The Islamic regime now is torturing and killing its own people, solely for the crime of not wanting to live in a sharia dictatorship. That’s enough for the destroyers and saboteurs at the Times to regard them as enemies.

This unconscionable coverage epitomizes everything that is wrong with the enemedia establishment.

“Iranians, Like Their Leaders, See Foreign Hand in Protests,” by Margaret Coker, New York Times, January 3, 2018 (thanks to Amil Imani):

LONDON — Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has blamed unnamed foreign “enemies” for the antigovernment protests that have swept his country for the past week, putting the demonstrators at risk of being accused of espionage or treason.

The accusation resonates for many Iranians, whose country has long been subject to foreign interference, from the American- and British-led coup in the 1950s to more recent efforts by the United States and Israel to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. President Trump’s public support for the protesters has only reinforced suspicions of a foreign hand at work.

While there has been no evidence that foreign governments orchestrated the protests, several countries are now trying to decide how to support a goal they share with many of the demonstrators: a less corrupt, more democratic and more open Iranian government.

The State Department urged Iran on Tuesday not to restrict access to social media services like Instagram and messaging platforms like Telegram, which the protesters have used to spread word of anti-government gatherings. It even encouraged Iranians to use virtual private networks to sidestep government censorship, advice Iranians see as interference.

Diplomats and analysts said discussions were underway in the capitals of Britain, Israel and other countries on whether or how to support the demonstrators.

American intelligence officials and Iran watchers say the protests appear to have started organically.

The demonstrations, which are widespread and amorphous, do not match the playbook that Western intelligence agencies have used to mount covert operations in Iran — namely, sustained resource-intense operations that focus on the narrowly defined and measurable goal of sabotaging the alleged nuclear weapons program, they say.

For now, they say, the evidence points to one catalyst of the unrest: widespread discontent with the government.

“You don’t need Americans or Israeli or British intelligence to convince people in Iran that there is a small ruling elite that is controlling the country’s economy and ruining it,” says Meir Javedanfar, a lecturer on Iranian studies at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.

A former American intelligence official said it was implausible that a foreign agency could organize protests in dozens of cities without the Iranian government catching wind of it beforehand. Additionally, Western spy agencies are leery of operations that rely on mass demonstrations, which have a high risk of failure and cannot be easily controlled, the official said.

“Certainly, the West doesn’t have the ground game to engage in that kind of activism, nor do Iran’s regional adversaries,” said Suzanne Maloney, the deputy director of the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution and a former adviser to senior State Department officials on Iran.

That logic has not stopped Iranian officials from pointing fingers outside their borders.

On Wednesday, the government announced the arrest of an unidentified citizen of an unidentified European country who “had been trained by espionage organizations in Europe,” the Tasnim news agency reported.

Iran has also accused Saudi Arabia, its main regional rival, of fomenting unrest. On Tuesday, the head of Iran’s National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, told a Lebanese television station that the Saudis were responsible for 27 percent of all anti-Iran hashtags on Twitter….

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