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(Video) Unveiling Iran's Propaganda Machine: A Deep Dive into Amb. Lincoln Bloomfield's Insights

During a Capitol Hill briefing on Nov. 14, Amb. Lincoln Bloomfield Jr., addressed Iran’s clandestine influence operations.He pointed to the recent Middle East conflict, notably the October 7 attacks, of Tehran’s desperate response to internal challenges.

During a Capitol Hill briefing on Nov. 14, Amb. Lincoln Bloomfield Jr., addressed Iran’s clandestine influence operations.He pointed to the recent Middle East conflict, notably the October 7 attacks, of Tehran’s desperate response to internal challenges.

Mr. Bloomfield, "pointed to the recent Middle East conflict, the October 7 attacks, as manifestations of Tehran’s desperate response to internal challenges."

Mr. Bloomfield, "I Didn't come here today to play counterintelligence expert. You’ll find between the covers of this excellent book some names. But I’m not an FBI agent, a criminal justice expert."”

PARIS, FARANCE, November 20, 2023 / -- The National Council of Resistance of Iran-(NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee in an article stated that during a Capitol Hill briefing on November 14, Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield Jr., former Assistant Secretary of US State for Political-Military Affairs, addressed Iran’s clandestine influence operations.

He specifically pointed to the recent Middle East conflict, notably the October 7 attacks, as manifestations of Tehran’s desperate response to internal challenges.

Delving into the history of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK) and its ideological foundations, Ambassador Bloomfield elucidated why the Iranian clerical dictatorship focuses its extensive propaganda efforts on neutralizing a perceived existential threat.

Stressing the importance of a nuanced understanding, he urged journalists to delve deeper into the intricacies of the situation and connect various elements to avoid falling prey to Tehran’s deceit tactics and influence operations.

The text of Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield’s speech follows:

Good morning to everyone. I want to thank everyone who is a public servant for their public service here on Capitol Hill. I want to congratulate my friend and colleague, Professor Sheehan, for his excellent scholarship.

This is one more piece of scholarship he has done at the University of Baltimore. That is thorough, thoughtful, well-researched, and insightful. And teaches us some things that are worth knowing. He’s always met that mark.

Today, I think, the scholar has found his moment because this book is very timely. I didn’t come here today. We should be humbled and realize that what we really need is a national policy on Iran. We need to come together and find unity as hard as that is in these troubled times.

I didn’t come here today to play counterintelligence expert. You’ll find between the covers of this excellent book some names. But I’m not an FBI agent, a criminal justice expert. I leave that to the authorities.

They suspended my clearance once where they had questions about who I might have known in a foreign capital. They’ll do their work, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

Actually, my main audience are the members of the media. And let me start by saying, in this crisis, as we look at what’s happening in Gaza and Israel and elsewhere, journalists are being very, very brave.

Many have lost their lives in the violence in the Middle East. And so I salute the profession of journalism.

But I’d like to speak to you in the media. If you came here today thinking, why are we here on an event to talk about Iran? The action is Gaza. It’s Hamas. It’s Israel. It’s the hostage crisis in Doha. It’s Egypt and where the Palestinians will go. It’s the West Bank, the Palestine Authority. That’s the subject. Why are we talking about Iran? And isn’t this just another MEK event?

If that’s what you think, then this is the event for you. And thank you for coming. Thank you for listening. You’ve come to the right place.

Because not only has the regime in Tehran maintained a wall of falsehoods and propaganda for over 40 years, backed by harsh repression to keep their own people in check, they’ve invested heavily in resources, in foreign capitals, to try to shape the message in other places, not least of which is Washington, D.C. So they’ve done this. Now, some people in this room will know all the facts that I’m going to recite very quickly.

But one never sees the story that I want to tell you reported in the West. And that’s the question I pose to our media. So let’s start with, for example, Mossadegh. Operation Ajax, 1953. Who are the people who support the nationalist views of Mossadegh, who wanted to distribute oil revenues and have a democracy?

It’s the MEK, and the National Council of Resistance of Iran. They are the ones who carry the flame for Mossadegh. The Ayatollahs at the time supported the coup. They welcomed the Shah back. They wanted Mossadegh put to death. So we shouldn’t be apologizing to the clerics of Iran.

The MEK didn’t kill the Americans in the 1970s. Not these people, they are not Marxists. They studied Marx. I studied Marx. They’re not Marxists. These were convenient tags that the Shah put on the Mujahedin-e-Khalq to scare the public. They were not true.

Ayatollah Khomeini, who was in exile in Iraq for 14 years, was in Paris before he came to Iran, and he courted the MEK. He had members of people I know who were in Paris with Khomeini, and he talked about democracy. He never said what he really had planned.

And when he came to Iran, he celebrated the MEK. Massoud Rajavi’s brother, Kazem, was made the first ambassador of the revolutionary regime in Geneva. The top technical university was renamed Sharif after an MEK member who had been killed by a secular radical, the same people who killed the Americans, for standing up for Islam.

But then something very big happened, and this is what I want you to take away today.

There was a meeting in 1979. Ayatollah Khomeini asked Massoud Rajavi to meet with him. Why? Because Rajavi was very popular. He was giving lectures at Tehran University. Thousands of people would sit on the lawn, according to Le Monde, as he talked about the transfer from colonialism to self-determination, to democracy.

And Islam, in Rajavi’s point of view, meant freedom. It meant gender equality. It meant rights, and political agency.

So Khomeini met with Rajavi and said, I want you to support my new constitution. What was in the Constitution? Velayat-e-Faqih, guardianship of the Islamic jurist.

This was Khomeini’s master plan. One person would be the embodiment of the 12th Imam of the Prophet and would have essentially a divine mandate to create a Shia, if you will, a Shia caliphate, which is not the right word for the Shia world, a kingdom if you will, of all the shrines, from Karbala and Najaf in Iraq to Jerusalem, Quds.

That was the vision, that was the mandate. He had a divine mandate, and anyone who stood in his way could be put to death. And so when Rajavi said, we can’t support that, the people have already thrown off one dictator, they’re not ready for another dictatorship. And by the way, to us, Islam means freedom. They’ve consistently said this for four to five decades. This has been the same philosophy.

Of course, Khomeini then allegedly signed a handwritten fatwa sentencing Rajavi to death, but also starting a 44-year war that continues to this day. They have been hunting, killing, imprisoning, and trying to silence the MEK for standing up for the idea that Islam is freedom. It’s not just that it’s a dictatorship. The MEK stands for something that is much more dangerous to the Mullahs, which is they reject their version of Islam.

That’s the reason you’ve seen so much of this activity over the years. That’s the reason they have erected this wall of propaganda.

And so, after that, there was a season of about two years where people ran for office, there were political rallies, there was excitement, there were thousands of people in the streets, but then Ayatollah Khomeini tried to suppress it, tried to put the lid on it. It wasn’t working. Children and teenagers were working in print shops. There was a lot of political dialogue.

The MEK had a journal. People were reading it. They tried to stop the MEK from communicating, stop them from meeting, and intimidate them. Seventy-nine of them died during the next two years.

And finally, the elected president of Iran, Bani Sadr, who supported Rajavi, called people out into the streets to protest for their political rights. And on June 20, 1981, this is the fateful day that, to this day, defines what we’re seeing in the Middle East, because that’s the day that Khomeini turned the guns on the Iranian people, and they shot their way to power.

A reign of terror began. Tens of thousands of people were either executed, killed in the streets, rounded up, imprisoned, or tortured, and then Khomeini kept the Iran-Iraq war going long beyond the time when he could have settled it.

One of the falsehoods is that the MEK was a traitor and that they fought on Saddam Hussein’s side. That’s false. At no time did the Iraqi forces ever fight alongside the MEK, which wasn’t even in Iraq for the first six years of the war. They came in 1986, they began acquiring surplus weapons in 1987, and they conducted one operation aimed at Tehran, with no involvement of the Iraqi military in 1988.

Khomeini was elderly, near death, and he said, kill them all. Round them up and kill them all.

These were people who had served prison sentences, none of them were life sentences. They found they went to their homes and brought them before judges.

There were panels of three judges in Tehran and elsewhere, who asked them a simple question, do you still believe this? And they stood by their beliefs, and up to 30,000 political prisoners were massacred in August and September of 1988. This was the second great wound on Khomeini’s project, shooting his way to power and then massacring 30,000 political prisoners.

The most eminent cleric in the Shia domain in Iran was Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. He was, of course, in line to be the next supreme leader, according to Velayat-e Faqih.

He went to Khomeini and said, Imam, you can’t do this. This is a crime. We’ll be remembered forever as criminals. This is wrong. You must stop. Khomeini didn’t want to hear it, and finally, Khomeini became fed up and pushed aside the Grand Marja of Iran, and instead he picked a young, maybe not young, junior cleric, who had served as the prime minister during the reign of terror in 1981, Ali Khamenei. He became the Supreme Leader of Iran.

So what do you do when you have a supreme leader who’s a hojjatoll-islam and needs to be elevated to the most eminent form of emulation in the Shia world? You conduct massive crimes around the world. Bombings in Argentina, machine-gunning of the Kurdish dissidents in Germany, assassinations of Kazem Rajavi on the streets of Geneva, and attacks on the four translators of Salman Rushdie’s satanic verses in capitals around the world.

There was a massive wave of violence and the promotion of a secret nuclear program. They thought it may have worked for Saddam Hussein, maybe it’ll work for Ali Khamenei.

The Iranian regime has always lied when confronted with its crimes. They lied to the UN envoy who tried to investigate the 1988 massacre. They lied about the nuclear program when European and American negotiators after it was divulged by people in this room, by the way, that there was a secret enrichment program in 2002, negotiations began. The Iranians later bragged about lying to the negotiators.

And the internal unrest continued. The regime pressed foreign capitals to suppress the MEK, to label them as terrorists. The United States government did so in 1997 as a political gesture.

We’ve heard over and over again, and there are books all over the table there that will show, there was never any iota of terrorism by the MEK, and there were four major court cases that demonstrated that. We can follow up later if you don’t know about that.

By 1999, internal unrest erupted again. Students were thrown from the windows on the upper floors of universities, according to the State Department. The Economist asked, is this the next Iran revolution?

And so the Quds Force went after U.S. forces in Iraq. And we’re told by the Pentagon that up to 600 U.S. troops were killed by Shia proxies led by Qasem Soleimani.

In 2009, there was a fraudulent election of Ahmadinejad. There were riots in the streets. They almost lost control of Tehran. And so the Green Movement was suppressed. Two years later, the Arab Spring toppled the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and came to Syria. And that was the point where the Iranian regime panicked, and they sent all of their forces into Syria.

They spent billions of dollars. “If we can’t hold Damascus, we can’t hold Tehran.” That is the quote from inside the councils of the clerical regime.

So they tried to negotiate the JCPOA. It took a few years. When they finished it, they got the arms embargo lifted, and they got the U.N. prohibition on ballistic missiles lifted.

And the minute that came into effect in 2016, the ballistic missile program started up again. And the then Secretary of State seemed surprised by this, thought it was an oversight, it could be dealt with with a couple of phone calls. No.

Next thing you know, there were scores of ballistic missiles hitting Saudi Arabia from Yemen, targeting the Saudis. In 2016, Prince Turki al-Faisal came to the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran-(NCRI)rally in Paris and said we need to eliminate the Khomeinist cancer in the Middle East. He gave the entire history of thousands of years and led to this point, that this is a cancer on the region, it must be eliminated.

Remember that, because it was an officially sanctioned speech by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Meanwhile, Ministry of Intelligence teams were hunting the MEK in Albania after they relocated from Iraq in 2016. They were planning a mass casualty bombing of the same rally two years later, north of Paris in 2018. We were there.

Fortunately, it was foiled by European police forces. But this spy, Asadullah Assadi, who was planning the bombing, was operating under diplomatic cover at the embassy in Vienna. The bomb was tested several times in Iran, according to the court in Antwerp, and was transferred on a commercial flight under diplomatic cover.

This is under Foreign Minister Zarif, and this is while the JCPOA was still in effect. That’s what they were doing, planning a mass casualty bombing in the heart of Europe.

So, the Antwerp court gave Asadi a 22-year sentence. What did the Iranians do? They seized a Belgian. They seized an aid worker, a 40-year-old aid worker for the Norwegian refugee fund in Iran, and sentenced him to 40 years in prison and 44 lashes. That led the Belgian government to sign an extradition treaty and trade the hostages. Asadi wave freed.

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Shahin Gobadi
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Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield Jr., former Assistant Secretary of US State for Political-Military Affairs, addressed Iran’s clandestine influence operations.

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