Intelligence minister felicitates IRGC on capturing Ruhollah Zam

October 16, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi has congratulated Hossein Salami, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and his forces on the arrest of a top anti-Islamic Republic figure.

In a statement on Wednesday, Alavi also wished for further success of the Guards in foiling the enemies’ plots against the Iranian nation under the command of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, IRNA reported.

On October 14, the IRGC announced it had lured Ruhollah Zam, who ran the anti-Iranian Amad News website and Telegram channel, back to Iran and arrested him.

The Guards posted the news of his arrest on Zam’s Telegram channel with a following of over a million users, effectively taking over the administration of the popular channel.

Alavi described Zam as a “traitor” and a “mercenary” who was supported by foreign intelligence services.

Zam’s arrest received widespread support from across the political spectrum.

 ‘Iran had laid trap to catch Zam long ago’

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on Wednesday the Islamic Republic had laid the trap to catch the operator of Amad News a long time ago and was waiting for the right moment to arrest him.

“This should be a lesson for all [spy] services and individuals who take measures against our country’s national security,” said Rahmani Fazli, according to Mehr.

“The tough line must be taken with anyone who harms the country through infiltration and espionage,” he added.

General Baqeri hails IRGC forces for ‘great achievement’

Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, said on Tuesday the arrest attested to the dreadful fate that awaits anyone who threatens Iran’s security.

In a message, General Baqeri congratulated Major General Salami for the “great achievement”, saying the successful operation showed the Guards’ “cleverness, sincerity, tactfulness, reliance [on God], patience and wisdom.”

He added that the achievement on the one hand caused happiness and national pride in Iran, and on the other caused fear and astonishment among the Islamic Republic’s enemies and ill-wishers.

Zam launched Amad News in 2015. The channel frequently posted fake news stories and called for violence with the aim of overthrowing the Islamic Republic system.

During the protest rallies in December 2018, he urged the people to take arms against the government.

In its Monday statement, the IRGC also said the French intelligence service was behind Zam’s activities, which were also backed by the U.S. and Zionist regime’s spy services.

Back in December 2017, Telegram blocked the channel of Amad News for encouraging people to violence after a request by Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi.

“A Telegram channel is urging people to incite insecurity and use home-made bombs and arms. Isn’t it time to stop promoting violence?” said Azari Jahromi in his Twitter account, mentioning the Telegram founder Pavel Durov.

Durov, in return, tweeted, “Calls for violence are prohibited by the Telegram rules. If confirmed, we’ll have to block such a channel, regardless of its size and political affiliation.”

The tweet was followed by the closure of Amad News channel, which had over 1.3 million followers at the time.

However, Zam resumed his activities by launching a new channel called Seday-e Mardom, which is translated as “voice of the people”.

MH/PA

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