Brian Hook raps Washington’s echo chamber as ‘Voice of the Mullahs’

May 29, 2020 - 18:24

TEHRAN — Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, has strongly criticized the performance of Voice of America’s Persian service which he said sounds more like the “Voice of the mullahs” than the “Voice of America.”

In a note published by The New York Post on Wednesday, Hook wrote that VOA Persian “needs to do a better job of countering Iranian disinformation and propaganda.”

He said he was receiving regular complaints about VOA’s Persian service. “Iranian viewers say its American taxpayer funded programming often sounds more like the ‘Voice of the mullahs’ than the ‘Voice of America’,” he added.

Hook said that addressing such complaints was a priority for the Trump administration and urged VOA to give access to “independent and truthful reporting.”

This is while many observers consider Voice of America’s Persian service to be a form of propaganda tool, aiming to sow discord and dissatisfaction among the Iranian public as part of Washington’s age-long policy of overthrowing the Islamic Republic.

VOA Persian is not the first anti-Iran propaganda tool of a hostile country that has been attacked for not being harsh enough toward the Islamic Republic – or as Hook put it, for failing to “effectively communicate” U.S. policies to Persian-speaking audiences.

The UK’s BBC Persian channel, which regularly offers politically biased coverage of Iran’s affairs, has been called “Ayatollah BBC” for years. 

The Mojahedin-e Khalq, an exiled Iranian terrorist group better known as the MEK, has compared the BBC Persian to Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, saying “with its latest drivel against the PMOI/MEK, the BBC has take a page right of Goebbels’ note book.”

In an article published in November 2019, the MEK, officially called the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), wrote that the BBC Persian “has never apologized to the Iranian people for assisting Iran’s religious dictatorship in repressing the nation.”

Although VOA Persian has been much more overt than the BBC Persian in their disinformation campaign against the Iranian government, Hook urged the network to double down and to specially focus on “human rights in Iran, corruption among the Iranian regime and analysis that counters propaganda rather than propagating it.”

He then went on to threaten the network with closure if it does not follow the orders.

“If it can’t meet these standards — and soon — Congress should consider ending its funding and shutting down VOA Persian as a fiduciary duty to American taxpayers,” he concluded.


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