Envoy blames MEK cult for coronavirus propaganda campaign

March 4, 2020 - 14:13

TEHRAN — Iran’s ambassador to London says the anti-Iran terrorist group of Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and other foreign-based anti-Iran groups have launched a propaganda campaign to mislead the public opinion about the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The MEK cult and similar groups have been trying to exploit the epidemic to push the public opinion in Iran into a “mental deadlock”, Hamid Baeidinejad said on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. 

The campaign features a “very duplicitous” news policy, the envoy said, according to Press TV.

As of Wednesday, the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Iran has risen to 92 with 2,922 confirmed cases.

The virus first emerged in China in December last year and is now spreading in the U.S., Europe and across the Middle East, sparking fears of a global pandemic.

Baeidinejad said in the early stages of the virus emergence in Iran, when the country had not yet sensed the urgency to seek foreign aid, certain media outlets launched a propaganda campaign implying that the Tehran government would resist Western assistance even at the expense of its people’s lives.

At the time, they were trying to create the impression that Iran was facing international isolation, and that no country was willing to provide it with emergency aid, Baeidinejad noted.

In the second phase, the propaganda drive alleged that the foreign medical supplies that had entered the country, including testing kits, were contaminated, he said.

The envoy gave assurances that Iran procures the foreign items required through trusted suppliers and that all the relevant sanitary standards are observed in the process.

“The main goal pursued by this propaganda is to create distrust between the people and the authorities,” he said, dismissing the “delusions” by those who think such campaigns would yield results.

The MEK was established in the 1960s to express a mixture of Marxism and Islamism. It launched bombing campaigns against the Shah, continuing after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, against the Islamic Republic. Iran accuses the group of being responsible for 17,000 deaths.

Based in Iraq at the time, MEK members were armed by Saddam Hussein to fight against Iran during a war that lasted for 8 years.

In 2012, the U.S. State Department removed the MEK from its list of designated terrorist organizations under intense lobbying by groups associated with Saudi Arabia and other regimes opposed to Iran.

A few years ago, MEK members were relocated from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province to Camp Hurriyet (Camp Liberty), a former U.S. military base in Baghdad, and were later sent to Albania.

MH/PA

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