Intelligence Ministry Claims Arrested Journalists Linked to British Government

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The Ministry of Intelligence has released a statement in connection with the recent arrests of in excess of ten journalists from a number of different Iranian newspapers and news outlets, claiming to have arrested “agents of a media network dependent on England”.

“This network was managed by means of the Organization for Psychological Operations of the Government of England, known as the BBC and benefiting from the experience of the events of the sedition of 2009 [i.e. the unrest which followed the 2009 presidential election] and the cooperation of a number of western governments. Because of the number of layers, breadth, use of special communication tools and methods for sending news and receiving directives from foreign agents, they were under the watch and pursued by the nameless soldiers of the 12th Imam [namely agents of the Intelligence Ministry], until ultimately with the completion of the process of uncovering the domestic agents, agents established outside the country, the gathering of information and preparation of necessary judicial documentation, they were made subject to legal action. In this respect a number of items will be noted:

1)      For the reason of the special sensitivity of the case and numerous considerations relating to [issues of] information, security, and the law, the information gathered regarding the relations of the arrested individuals with the network of psychological-governmental operations of England, were completely documented and sound. Apart from the confessions of the accused, [the aforementioned] indicates [the network] is the kind and nature of media organization of the foreigners.

2)      Because of the number of elements connected with this network (inside and outside the country) and with a view to the extant differences in the type and level of contact of the elements under watch with the said network and presented information and probable unawareness of a number of those linked to the foreign source of the network, during the ongoing research in the days ahead, it is possible a number of those connected to the network will be summoned and arrested and a number of the previously arrested will be released. Because it can be assured this process will continue until the last individual attached to this network is found and the controversies of the psychological war machine of the media of arrogance and so-called human rights organizations attached to that base, and the abundance of fabricated and ad hoc organizations, will not have the least effect on the will of the nameless soldiers of the 12th Imam and the current process of measures [being taken].”

In other news

Asadollah Badamchian, a central member of the Front of Disciples for the Line of the Imam and Leadership, has told Tasnim news agency, that it is preparing to introduce a team of nine persons into the electoral race, and that amongst this nine, one will be chosen to run as the presidential candidate on behalf of the Front.

Masoud Alavian, the Deputy for Cultural Heritage has announced that the location of an attempted assassination against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will become a recorded national heritage site. Khamenei had been the object of a failed assassination attempt in June 1981, and while he survived, he lost the function of right hand.

The sites of the assassinations of a number of Iran’s nuclear scientists are also under review as possible national heritage sites.

As covered by Laura Rozen on Al-Monitor’s The Back Channel, the website Baztab-e emruz posted an article (which has since been removed) addressing inter-elite disagreements over the handling of Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. The article is entitled, “Brothers, the nuclear negotiations hold the fate of 75 million people, they’re not work experience”.

Below are some translated excerpts:

“[T]he direct criticisms of Manuchehr Motakki with respect to the actions of the nuclear negotiating team, shows the points of consensus amongst experts, and also touches on the thoughts of some of the politicians in the official sphere”.

“The criticism of Motakki regards some of the recommendations of the nuclear negotiating team, about the direct broadcast of negotiations and the emphasis on obtaining new locations for the negotiations. But it seems the problems of the negotiating team far surpasses these two problems”.

“At a time when one of the young writers of Keyhan newspaper who doesn’t have minimal experience and expertise in diplomacy and international relations, has been transformed into the theoretician of the nuclear negotiations and moreover strives to be a continuous presence as the face of the Islamic Republic and “the key member of the negotiating team” in interviews with foreign publications and putting forward strange preconditions, what expectation can be had from the negotiations?”

“The successive changes in the location of the negotiations and their transfer from Geneva, to Istanbul, Baghdad, Moscow and now the plan for Cairo, which is itself the centre of internal crisis and entanglement, takes place with what logic?”

“Is the principle of obtaining results and solving the problem of 75 million Iranians or globe trotting and entering third party countries under discussion?”

“It seems with respect to the will of the regime for controlling the effects of sanctions on the economy of the country and the reduction of economic damage, those responsible for negotiating must improve their methods, so that the benefit of these successive negotiations accrue to the country and perhaps choose a fixed location for negotiations in a non-partisan country, like Switzerland or by rotation in several countries and permanently solve the marginal issue of the negotiations’ location and prepare the way for addressing the core of the issue and solving the country’s problem”.