French intelligence service caught in self-inflicted trap

November 10, 2019 - 20:17

TEHRAN – In a report published by Nour News on Sunday, it was said that the intelligence service of France has been caught in self-inflicted trap after the arrest of Ruhollah Zam, the head of an anti-Iran website and Telegram channel.

“Given Ruhollah Zam and his family’s residence in France and his protection by the country’s intelligence service, the arrest of this opposition element has caused criticisms against the French government and intelligence service,” the report said.

The report noted that the French media outlets, especially Le Monde and Le Figaro, have launched a propaganda campaign to divert the public opinion from the Zam arrest.

“In the articles and reports having been published in the past month by the French media, the French intelligence services’ warnings to Zam about leaving the country have been highlighted. Efforts are being made to portray Zam’s negligence to the warnings as the reason behind his arrest,” the report said.

It added that the French media use lies and fake news to prove their claim. 

“It seems that the French media are being guided by the General Directorate for Internal Security of France,” it added.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced on October 14 that it had arrested Zam during a complicated intelligence operation, which involved luring him back to Iran.

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.

Amad News was suspended by the messaging app Telegram last year after Iran accused it of carrying calls for violence during protests that started in late 2017 and continued across the country. But the channel soon reappeared under a new name.

In its statement, the IRGC said Zam was supported by intelligence agencies of certain countries, including France, the U.S., and Israel.

Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif, the spokesman for the IRGC, said in October that most members of Zam’s network have been identified.

“Given the process of intelligence monitoring and controlling of this mercenary element for a long time, most members of Zam’s network have been identified and there is relatively certain access to domestic elements helping this anti-Revolution network and foreign agencies supporting it, and there is not much need for the conventional confessions by the aforementioned,” Sharif explained.

Major General Hossein Salami, chief of the IRGC, issued a statement in October saying the arrest of Zam has astounded foreign intelligence services. He said the IRGC Intelligence Organization’s initiative foiled the enemy’s psychological war against Iran.

He said Amad News was operating with the aim of launching street riots, fomenting discord between the elite and authorities, publishing disinformation and rumors, and propagating pessimism and hopelessness among people.

General Salami also thanked Iranian scholars, authorities, commanders, and people for their congratulatory messages after Zam’s arrest.