Since 2019, massive demonstrations against Iran and its influence broke out in Iraq and Lebanon, followed by internal protests against Iran's totalitarian ideology. Internally, Iranians are demanding the dissolution of the clerical regime. Demonstrations occur daily in Iran with protests over inflation, economic disparities, water shortages, teacher pay, soaring food prices, and unemployment. The government meets these demonstrations with brutal repression, killing hundreds. Physical confrontations lead to arrests, and arrests lead to torture. Torture leads to panicked confessions elicited under extreme duress. The government uses this information to arrest other Iranians in an ongoing dragnet used to preserve the theocracy. Iranian citizens want their own identity, not the transnational community of believers that is the ummah, as Khomeini prefers. Instead of a national identity, Khomeini pushes the doctrine of velayat-e faqih, meaning the supreme guardianship of the Islamic jurist – better known as a system of governance justifying the rule of the clergy over the state. The religious leadership controls all political and religious authority. All Iran's critical decisions run through the supreme leader. The supreme leader governs all organs of Iran. No one has any say over the conduct of the supreme leader. Anything contrary to his word is considered direct disobedience to Allah. Iran rules by way of violence. The supreme leader established a brutal theocracy that has run out of ideas, surviving under the auspices of fascist rule.
Many people in Iran are not allowed to have an education or work because of their religion. Because of their beliefs, even more are jailed or murdered in the streets and prisons. In addition, the regime repeatedly calls ordinary citizens and activists traitors and spies. The National Information Network, better known as the Iranian intranet, filters most internet traffic while interrogating content for anything contrary to revolutionary ideals. The government fears open discussion, the free flow of information, and thought. Soon, the government will pass a law criminalizing the production and distribution of censorship circumvention tools while authorizing more in-depth electronic surveillance. These are the last gasps of a government on the downward slope of its tenure.
In the report, Iranian Influence Operations, dated July 17, 2020, Treadstone 71, we had noticed spikes in Twitter activity surrounding specific hashtags. The primary hashtag targeted Maryam Rajavi. Maryam Rajavi is the leader of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, an organization trying to overthrow the Iranian government, and the President-elect of its National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). July 17, 2020, represented the #FreeIran2020 Global Summit online for the NCRI. The report tracked Twitter and other social media activity surrounding the Global Summit.
The 2022 Global Summit begins this weekend. We noticed increased Iranian social media activity mirroring the same negative type posts against the People’s Mujahedin of Iran leadership. Current postings are likely preparing for new operations using social media to counter any opposition messaging. The most recent posts again reflect the use of antagonizing hashtags including #Maryam_Rajavi_is_terrorist and hashtag used in 2020. Read the new report.