Trump retweets praise from fake anti-Iran account

April 25, 2020 - 12:24

TEHRAN — U.S. President Donald Trump has shared an appreciative tweet for his anti-Iran policies by a fake account belonging to the terrorist group of Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK).

The tweet, posted by Heshmat Alavi on Wednesday, read: “The mullahs' regime ruling #Iran harasses UN Navy ships for propaganda purposes.”

“Thank you, President Trump, for reminding this regime that the Obama years are gone,” it said. “And BTW, this regime does not represent the Iranian people.”

Trump had earlier ordered the U.S. Navy to shoot down Iranian gunboats “if they harass our ships” in the Persian Gulf.

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” he said in an earlier tweet.

Retweeting Alavi’s appreciative comment, Trump said: “Sleepy Joe thought this was OK. Not me!” 

He was referring to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who served as vice president under Obama.

Back in June 2019, The Intercept reported that Heshmat Alavi, who wrote dozens of articles for right-wing outlets, appears not to exist. Alavi’s persona is a propaganda operation run by the MEK, The Intercept quoted two sources as saying.

In an interview with the Balkans Post last week, Murtaza Hussain, who had written in The Intercept article, said Alavi is a persona used by the MEK to “continue its public relations work in the Western countries, aiming to sway elite and public opinion by placing news articles and running social media campaigns promoting its vision for itself as the future government of Iran.”

On Twitter, people responded to Trump, reminding him and his followers that Alavi is not a real person, highlighting the Trump administration’s close links with the MEK.

“Behold Donald Trump’s open coordination with an Iranian terrorist organization,” commented Trita Parsi, the co-founder and executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

“The person he retweets does not exist, the account is run by six people in the MEK's terrorist base in Albania,” he said. “Yes, the president of the United state is retweeting a terrorist account.”

Massoud Khodabandeh, the director of Middle East Strategy Consultants, wrote: “Like it or not, #Trump is certainly not up to running a corner shop never mind a country and he has proved it on daily bases and Americans are paying for this disaster on daily bases.”

Khodabandeh, who has written extensively along with her wife Anne Khodabandeh about the MEK, said in another tweet: “Never thought I will see a head of a state as low as @POTUS. Next he can go to Albanian to visit her qeen of terrorists #Rajavi.”

Negar Mortazavi, an Iranian-American journalist, noted that Trump “retweets a troll account linked to MEK, a terrorist Iranian opposition group that‘s killed Americans and Iranians.”

“This fake account is constantly promoted and amplified by Saudi government media,” she added.