Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, August 27, 2019–Iranian regime Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi voiced the mullahs’ escalating concerns over increasing activities launched by the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) on the internet.
“The enemy is using social media better than us,” he said in an interview with state TV on Sunday, August 25. “The internet is like a kitchen knife that you can use. The enemy can also use it to tear you apart,” he added in remarks to the regime’s forces and elements.
“One of the cultural areas that is very influential on our culture is the internet. You know better than anyone else what happened in the winter (referring to the Dec 2017 / Jan 2018 uprising) and how much coverage it enjoyed on the internet. I saw an image of the [PMOI/MEK] working on social media. How much are you concerned of the damages caused by the internet?”
“The internet is a reality. We and the enemy can both use it. Time and again [Ali Khamenei] have provided solutions for our forces to be using this tool as much as possible in order to purse our goals. In this regard we have not put all our effort and we have not used the capacity found in the internet. The enemy has been using this tool better than us.
“Social media can be used as a tool, like a kitchen knife. The enemy can use it, too, to tear you apart. Of course, a knife should be used in correct manner. The society must be taught how to use the knife and the fact that the enemy is taking advantage of the internet and imposing its influence. There is no doubt in the solution. We must have very calculated solutions."
Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, Prosecutor General of the mullahs’ regime in Iran, expressed growing concern back in February over social media use.
“Why should we be witnessing so much crime and sin in our society?” he said in an interview with the Fars news agency, a media outlet affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
“The numbers are terrifying and this should be a warning to our officials. My messages is to those who can cleanse [social media], even if its 50 percent lesser. In the past ten months alone, cyberspace crimes and computer-based crimes have increased by 140 percent.”
His remarks could also be paving the path for a new wave of domestic crackdown and further internet censorship. Montazeri went on to describe messaging apps provided through social media platforms as disgraceful.
“Our authorities should know what a disgraceful atmosphere has been created in our society. Pay a visit to the Anti-Computer Crime Department. Who is responsible for all this?” he continued in deep anger.
It is worth noting that Javad Javeed-Nia, Deputy Prosecutor General in Cyberspace Affairs also voiced concern over this issue.
“90 percent of the country’s cyberspace is controlled by foreigners and their main objective is to change the society’s tendencies and tastes. Everyone should react strongly through a planned process to the measures of our enemies and the [People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)],” he added.
“Considering the fact that our enemies have established cyber armies against the [mullahs’ regime], those who care about our state must launch a media campaign against the enemy, identify the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, and place forward an adequate analysis,” Javeed-Nia continued. “In a study conducted last year, the aggressive content published in Instagram on a daily basis was very extensive.”
It is worth noting that Montazeri had previously warned the regime would be facing alarming circumstances if the country’s cyberspace is not “managed.” In remarks made during a session evaluating “cultural threats,” Montazeri shed light on the growing concern among officials of the mullahs’ regime in regards to the internet.
The state-run Tehran Press news agency acknowledged the fact that the mullahs’ regime is very much behind in this struggle against the people. “Considering the specific type of our culture, we have not been able to surpass the enemy in regards to cyberspace. In fact, we have been very behind and continuously suffered heavy attacks. I can dare to say that the enemy, especially the [PMOI/MEK] organization, is in control of the Telegram platform. For those who should be familiar with this organization’s tactics, these remarks are not exaggerations at all and are in fact a reflection of our status quo.”
This outlet further says, “If not 100 percent, the mentality of toppling [the regime], seen very active today in social media platforms, is very much influenced by the literature and terms of overthrowing that is used very vividly by the [PMOI/MEK]. This culture and vocabulary is witnessed in most Telegram groups, including political groups and even social groups. We may not believe it that many of the so-called principalists groups, those who appear to be loyal to the [regime], are not safe from the influence of this organization’s hypocritical culture. This is the mysterious and low-profile ruling state that continues to be active even in the homes of our senior officials. These days we are witnessing how the children of these loyal individuals and insiders are literally drowned in cyberspace platforms heavily influenced by the [PMOI/MEK] and are not aware of this reality.”