Hundreds of Tehran-based website and many thousands of social media accounts are spewing out anti-Semitic propaganda, pushing an Iranian agenda and sowing seeds of discord in Western countries, according to an exclusive report by Jewish Chronicle.
These sites and accounts, which the UK-based newspaper says were forensically traced to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), routinely disseminate viciously antisemitic material, including cartoons of bloodthirsty Israeli soldiers in league with Saudi Arabia and the United States, and extensive Holocaust denial.
The findings have been passed onto GCHQ, says The JC.
“In signs of their attempts to destabilise British society, the Iran-run sites strategically praised British leftwing figures like Rebecca Long-Bailey and George Galloway, attempted to undermine the authority of the BBC over its coverage of Prince Philip’s death, and carried anti-British cartoons showing UK missiles fired at children.”
The investigation disclosed that many of the websites shut down by the Department of Justice are still operational, having simply migrated to slightly different web addresses.
The disinformation sites target numerous countries in different languages, representing a concerted Iranian effort to influence hearts and minds across the globe.
Key nodes in Tehran’s disinformation network, uncovered by the JC, include the International Union of Virtual Media (IUVM), an umbrella organisation that spreads Iranian government narratives and spawns new sites and social media accounts.
Our investigation found that IUVM is one of a series of IRGC-linked ‘archive’ sites that contain a wealth of material – including articles, pictures, cartoons and videos – pushing an Iranian agenda.
These free resources provide instant content to feed new pro-regime sites or social media ‘bots’, or automated accounts that masquerade as human users, some of which pose as journalists or official news sources.
The IRGC uses social media ‘botnets’ to amplify antisemitic and anti-Israel narratives in an attempt to sway public opinion via Twitter in countries across the globe.