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Ctrl+Alt+Delete: Iran's Response to the Internet

Kayhan Newspaper
September 29, 2004

Daily Note: The Spider House

In journalism, it is customary that the daily note or the editorial attempt to analyze and interpret one of the main issues of the day with reference to one or several news stories. Today’s note, however, is a collection of a few news stories that is not accompanied by any interpretation or analysis. This note lists the documented specifications and characteristics of an active political, cultural and social network. Even though this list is long and the following note includes but a few examples, its brevity is sufficiently telling … if only one person is in the house, one word is enough.1

1 - This network has an American identity and an Iranian ID card. Its main center of command and control is in the United States. A few centers are located in Europe and act as middlemen. They are responsible for establishing contacts between the main center and members of the network inside Iran. These middlemen are located in cities such as London, Berlin, the Hague, Brussels and Prague. The coordination of activities between the European centers and the main center takes place via the Radio Farda building located in Prague. It must be noted that Radio Farda not only fails to deny its connection to the CIA, but in fact stresses its relationship in order to gain assurances from those who have been invited to collaborate [with the network].

2 - Most of the harmful activities of this network are carried out by Internet sites, reformist newspapers, gatherings by two allegedly “reformist” extremist groups and their agents in government. Emrooz (which is supposedly based inside Iran) and Gooya News (which was initially registered in the information bank of the NIKE institute in the United States and was moved to Brussels after the events of September 11) are the two main sites linked to this network. In addition to the aforementioned sites, several other Internet sites are also active participants in this network. As of a year ago, the BBC Persian site has taken over this network and placed it under its protection and advertising wings.

3 - The following are the names of some of the collaborators of this network who are currently living outside of Iran: Dariush Sajjadi (US), Abbas Ahmadi (US), Farshad Bayan (Brussels), Jamshid Asadi (Paris), Ahmad Salamatiyan (Paris), Nima Rashedan (Sweden), Hossein Derakhshan (Toronto), Alireza Nourizadeh (London), Majid Mohammadi (New York), Sina Motallebi (Hague; Brussels), Jamshid Barzegar (London), Ebrahim Nabavi (Paris; London; …), Masoud Behnoud (London), and …

In the past, some of the aforementioned individuals collaborated closely and continuously with reformist newspapers inside Iran, and a number of them wrote articles for these newspapers while residing abroad. These articles were published either under their own names or pseudonyms.

4 - The abbreviated names of some of these members who are active with both the reformist newspapers and websites affiliated with this spider-like network are as follows: Babak Q., Farhad R., Nima R., Bahman A., Zhila B., Shadi S., Omid M., Shahram R., Ja’far G., Roozbeh M., Jalal Kh., Hanif M., Mahdi D., and … Most of these individuals were (or are) youngsters in search of fame who were first drawn to work as journalists for these reformist newspapers by the agents of this network – particularly agents of this network who belonged to the two extremists groups which allege to be “reformists.” They were then forced to collaborate with this network through deceitful acts such as moral corruption, and preparing video of these acts, the guarantee of rising to high-ranking posts after the impending overthrow of the regime or the promise of a free education in Europe or America.

[1] Persian proverb

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Tagged as:

Free Speech, Right to Protest, Cyber Journalism, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Free Association, Political Freedom, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination