The BBC will not overthrow Tehran

The Islamic Republic increases its attack on “enemies” and outside forces. A paranoid regime – with, it must be said, some justified reason to fear attempts from the West for regime change – simply convinces its foes that it trusts nobody and fears everybody:

Authorities in Iran intensified their campaign to blame the country’s political turmoil on foreigners today by banning contact with more than 60 international organisations.

The intelligence ministry said the blacklist included thinktanks, universities and broadcasting organisations identified as waging a “soft war” aimed at toppling Iran’s Islamic system.

It forbade Iranians from talking to or receiving aid from the proscribed organisations, including the BBC, which last year launched a Farsi satellite television channel, as well as two US government-funded outlets, Voice of America and Radio Farda, both of which broadcast in Farsi.

Also on the list were Wilton Park, a British group that organises foreign policy conferences, Yale University and leading American thinktanks, including the Brookings Institution and the George Soros Open Society Foundation.

Separately, Ahmadinejad’s website was unobtainable today after reportedly being hacked. Those trying to enter saw the message: “Dear God, In 2009 you took my favourite singer Michael Jackson, my favourite actress Farrah Fawcett, my favourite actor Patrick Swayze, my favourite voice Neda. Please don’t forget my favourite politician Ahmadinejad and favourite dictator Khamenei [Iran’s supreme leader] in the year 2010. Thank you.”

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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