By David Bandurski — There is plenty of discussion in the West about whether the international response to Iran’s election crisis has been strong enough. But the Guangming Daily newspaper, published by China’s Central Propaganda Department, pressed the point yesterday that “Western factors” have been working nefariously behind the scenes to capitalize on a sensitive political situation.
The newspaper said that one important reason the “election crisis” in Iran was becoming “more and more serious” was that “Western forces” were “adding fuel to the fire.”
The article argues that the demonstrations contesting the election results would not have happened at all had Western governments not offered “outside support.”
“It can be said, only with outside ‘support’ would the ‘reform party’ dare to challenge Khamanei and the power of the government.”
After briefly summarizing the pressure applied by Western leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the article enumerates, without a hint of skepticism, all of the charges Iran has leveled against the West, such as the use of special agents and the coordinating of “propaganda” efforts through the BBC and CNN.
[ABOVE: Yesterday’s edition of Guangming Daily discusses Western “interference” in Iran’s internal affairs.]
The article’s author, Li Jiabin (李佳彬), has written a number of such articles in recent days. Li wrote on June 23 that the U.S. government had “demanded that the operator of the Twitter service cooperate with the activities of Iran’s opposition party.” Surely, the newspaper means to say that the U.S. State Department requested that Twitter postpone a scheduled maintenance.
Portions of yesterday’s Guangming Daily article follow:
In addition, they [the Western forces] arranged for intelligence agents and anti-government organizations to “cause trouble and disorder.” Iranian security officials said on June 20 that they had arrested a large numbers of members of Mujahideen militia groups. Those arrested have already admitted that they were trained at in Iraq run by the American military, tasked with sowing chaos after the elections in Iran. Meanwhile, in Britain, there are still Mujahideen command centers which control there movements within Iran. Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said on the 21st that Britain had begun sending large numbers of intelligence agents to Iran ahead of the presidential election, brazenly interfering in the internal politics of Iran. At the same time, he warned France against interfering in Iran’s internal affairs. On June 22, Iran’s foreign ministry called together ambassadors from Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and other nations and issued a note of protest, demanding that these countries respect Iran’s election results and cease participation in hostile propaganda and other activities toward Iran. While these nations have denied “meddling” in Iran’s election, it is a widely known secret that Western intelligence agents have long participated in activities to subvert the Iranian regime.
Thirdly, [the West] has used its media and the Internet to foment unrest. After the election crisis occurred, the Western media filled the headlines with coverage of the situation in Iran. CNN, for example, repeatedly interrupted its regular news programming to do several hours of continuous live coverage of demonstrations by Iran’s opposition party. On June 20, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said that in recent news reports on the Iranian elections, Voice of America and the British Broadcasting Corporation had taken on the role of mouthpieces for the United States and Britain and command centers for inciting unrest in Iran with the objective of driving a wedge of separatism among the Iranian people.
At the same time, the Internet became a new platform for the Western media. Even as Iran’s government temporarily suspended mobile phone and Internet services, Western media continued to use Websites or real-time communication tools to obtain photos and video of the protests and demonstrations . . . Western hackers were also active, attacking the computer systems of the Iranian government and the foreign ministry and Websites supportive of President Ahmadinejad.
[Posted by David Bandurski, June 25, 2009, 8:55am HK]