What is the reason for the retreat of the television supported by the Saudis?
According to Iran Gate, the reason for the retreat of the television supported by the Saudis, in the days when peaceful protests of the Iranian people occurred in response to the murder of Aminian in the custody of Tehran’s moral police, has been very destructive and has imposed huge costs on Iranian protesters.
As mentioned in the first part of this case, Iran International TV has played a destructive role in recent years and has jeopardized Iran’s national interests.
But in this part of the case, an investigation into the performance of the network supported by the Saudis has been conducted, with a focus on the past 7 months and the protests of Iranian citizens against compulsory hijab. This performance has faced serious ambiguities, and the audience is confronted with dark aspects in the case of this television network.
In addition to attempting to radicalize the domestic space, there is evidence of collaboration between Iran International TV and terrorist groups and separatist factions, which has had destructive consequences on the course of protests and popular demands. Although this network has significantly retreated after the Islamic Republic’s agreement with the Saudi government, as the saying goes, its venom has spread.
Be radical, we’ve got your back.
As mentioned, Iran International TV has played a significant role in radicalizing the recent protests of Iranian citizens. Although initially the protesters favored this Saudi-backed network’s approach, evidence shows that the number of viewers of this television has significantly decreased. This statement indicates the fact that after the atmosphere became more rational, the protesters have changed their course and adopted a new strategy for expressing their dissatisfaction.
From the very first days of the protests against the murder of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Tehran’s Moral Security Police, this television network began broadcasting programs to fuel the anger of the Kurdish people. These programs not only encouraged protesters to resort to violence on the streets, but also criticized non-violent methods of resistance, which have been recognized as the best strategy in the fight against oppression by civil society over the past four decades. It is no coincidence that the recent protests have been one of the outcomes of this non-violent approach.
This network’s policy, supported by Saudi Arabia, has led young people who had come to the streets due to social restrictions to respond to the violent suppression of the ruling authority with violent reactions of their own.
But the interesting point is that when these same young people provided Iran International with images of their protests, this television network, without adhering to professional principles or protecting the lives of news sources, would publish the complete images without blurring the faces of the protesters. This action resulted in the immediate arrest of individuals present in these images by security forces and suppressive agents.
On the one hand, the production of provocative content by this network, which is mainly done in collaboration with separatist and anti-national elements, and even some terrorist groups, caused the security forces of the Islamic Republic to associate the protesters who were somehow seen in this network’s footage with these movements. In fact, it can be said that this network, supported by Saudi Arabia, plays the role of a catalyst in the process of demonizing the protesters, who are mostly young people.
Although this approach is not due to hidden relations between the Islamic Republic government and the operators of Iran International network, rather, these actions by the managers of this media outlet have been carried out to radicalize the domestic space and act as fuel on the fire that the security forces of the Islamic Republic have ignited in order to suppress the protests.
The blood of the nation’s youth is the currency for the Saudis.
In fact, Iran International network is trying to provoke more violence by putting young protesters in Iran under arrest and suppression, in order to exploit these intense reactions in the media. This policy not only excludes Iran International from being a professional media outlet, but also positions it as a platform for spreading hatred and advocating violence. It has attempted to provoke the government by taking advantage of the dissatisfaction of young people, so that even the Saudis can receive more benefits from the current Iranian authorities in negotiations. This statement was not proven until the final announcement of the agreement between Riyadh and Tehran, but in recent weeks, this London-based Persian-language media outlet has noticeably retreated from its previous policies, which has given more credibility to this claim.
Farewell to London
As mentioned, the policy of Iran International network has immediately changed after the Islamic Republic’s agreement with Saudi Arabia. This change, which coincided with the relocation of Iran International’s headquarters from the UK to the United States, has been met with strong reactions from the audience as well.
Many viewers of this television network have expressed extensive criticism of the network’s 180-degree policy change on Instagram and Twitter pages of Iran International. Based on the available evidence and Iran’s demand for its Saudi counterparts to close down Iran International, it can be clearly stated that the Saudi government has attempted, with implicit support for this network, to undermine the Islamic Republic government and deprive Iranians of their desired benefits.
Who is to blame?
Now, the question arises as to whether the Iranian individuals involved in this program were aware of the consequences of adopting such an approach in the country’s media space. Did they know that radicalizing the atmosphere would not only yield no results for the peaceful protest movement but also provide a grounds for more violent suppression? Are the journalists and reporters who have been and are currently working for this television network aware of the fact that their actions within the framework of Iran International are one of the main factors in dampening the wave of protests?
The protests that were once introduced as the most progressive movement in Iran aimed at overthrowing the Islamic Republic in various programs of this network have now significantly diminished.
Do former media colleagues realize that their efforts to legitimize the suppression of separatist movements have led to a widespread retreat of Iranian protesters from their radical positions in recent months? I wish someone would answer whether the Saudi oil dollars have the power to sterilize the protest movement and undermine Iran’s national interests on a large and treacherous scale.
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