US Administration’s decision to cut funding for a Twitter account called “Iran Disinfo” has been taking the internet by storm.
The story started on Thursday when Negar Mortazavi, a Washington-based prominent Twitter commentator on Iran shared a tweet by the account accusing an advocate of Human Rights Watch for spreading lies on the human cost of the US sanctions on Iran instead of documenting the human rights violations committed by the Iranian authorities.
Mortazavi was not the only one attacked by Iran DisInfo. Other two BBC Persia journalists were also attacked for criticizing the US sanctions on Iran and one journalist who works for the Washington Post.
Me and two BBC Persian journalists @BahmanKalbasi and @BBCArdalan have been attacked by @IranDisinfo multiple times and as early as February. This tweet calls us Devil’s Advocates who spread lies about sanctions on medicine - which we never did.https://t.co/bRA4V3dL9K— Negar Mortazavi (@NegarMortazavi) June 2, 2019
The story got viral until the US State Department's Global Engagement Center announced during the weekend cutting off the funding to the Iranian propaganda group that appeared to be set up for around a year now, aiming at attacking the Iranian regime and any critics of the US policy towards Iran.
The stated mission of the Iran Disinformation Project was to expose the “nefarious influence” of the Iranian regime including social media manipulation in line with Trump’s administration strategy.
Yet, it went viral lately for the smear campaigns it launched against US advocates and journalists who called for diplomacy over the war between the US and Iran. Not only this, supporters of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Donald Trump withdrew from last year have been also a target of the group.
In which @NegarMortazavi goes down the rabbit hole so you don't have to, and finds that @StateDept (yes, the same one that shrieks about Russia funding disinformation campaigns) has been, wait for it, funding multiple disinformation campaigns against anyone who doesn't hate Iran https://t.co/Se2AqRAxfl— Teymoor Nabili (@teymoornabili) June 1, 2019
The account shares its posts mainly in English and Farsi, with occasional posts in Arabic. The posts usually highlight human rights violations, attacks leaders while using hashtag #40YearsOfFailure; in reference to the 40 years that passed since the Iranian 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the pro-US Shah.
What’s shameful is that @IranDisinfo is going after independent organizations & analysts, including Americans, with US taxpayer dollars. Their alleged violations are many & should be deeply worrisome to us all. https://t.co/jW9gETqwPy— sarah margon (@sarahmargon) June 1, 2019
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