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Iran Doesn’t Give Up Efforts to Build its “Media Empire”

Journalists and analysts have been watching Iran’s expansionist policy in the Greater Middle East, for extended periods of time.

However, the Iranian expansion is active not only in the offline sphere but also in the online cyberspace arena. The Iranian intelligence services (inspired by their Russian counterparts) actively set up and develop their online media, through which they spread Iranian propaganda and misinformation.

For example, the investigation of Reuters revealed 70 websites on 16 languages, covering 15 countries. All these “independent media outlets” are developed and controlled by Iran.

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Why has Azerbaijan not become a part of the Shia Crescent?

The Shia Crescent is a term which enriched researchers and journalists’ vocabulary, thanks to the King of Jordan Abdullah II.
The Shia Crescent refers to countries and territories populated by Shiites or which have significant Shiite communities.
It is no secret that in its global strategy of a hybrid war, the Iranian regime, in most cases, relies on the Shiite population and Shiite communities from the Middle East to Africa and South America.

There are three countries populated predominantly by Muslim-Shiites – Iran, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan. The Iranian regime, which recruits Pakistani and Afghan Shiites for the war in Syria and uses Shiite communities in South America to organize drug trafficking could not ignore the neighboring countries with predominantly Shiite population. One of such countries is Azerbaijan.

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While the Iranian regime’s elite bash US, their children reap its benefits

A distinguishing feature of the world’s pariahs is their hypocrisy.

During the 20th century, the examples of hypocrisy could be witnessed in the Eastern bloc countries, where the elites were living separately from the people, positioning themselves as the working class advocates.

For example, while the country was desolated by famine, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il became the biggest private buyer of Hennessy Paradis cognac.

Iran’s theocratic regime decided to follow the “good traditions” of the Eastern bloc and North Korea. Moreover, mullahs decided to go far and send their children to the US for education.

It turns out that their favorite slogans like “death to America” and epithets like “Great Satan” are only propagandist tricks to fool their people.

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Sanctions will remain inefficient as long as Iranian backdoors are open

Almost since its establishment, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been under a permanently sanctioned regime.

In different periods, the sanctions were softened but never lifted. A new package of tough sanctions, this time American, reached Iran on November 5 of this year.

However, despite the sanctions that Iran has been under for almost 40 years, the Iranian regime still finds power and leverages to spread its influence in the Middle East. It is possible partly due to the network of backdoors, from China to South America, created for different purposes for over decades.

It is notable that both the EU and the US have information about these backdoors, but they have not been able to close all of them yet.


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How effective can US sanctions on Iran really be?

US President Donald Trump kept his promise, and new US sanctions are in full force. Their stated goal is to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. The sanctions cover even the shipping industry of Iran, citizens and companies from third countries doing business with Iran are also at risk of being sanctioned.

To me, total suspension of the Iranian oil export does not seem to be realistic. At least, a whole sea and land blockade is necessary to achieve this goal. At the same time, there are many allies and partners of the US among Iranian oil purchasers, and they could not give up Iranian oil immediately. It seems Washington understands this very well.

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Place and role of Hezbollah in Syrian war

One of the pro-Iranian actors involved in the Syrian civil war is Hezbollah. The organization has been involved in the Syrian war since the very beginning.

Whereas previously Hezbollah could gain favor with a particular part of the non-Shiite population of Lebanon through confrontation with Israel, now the participation of Hezbollah in the Syrian conflict was ambiguously interpreted in Lebanon and affected the sympathies of the Lebanese.

Many Lebanese politicians and public persons condemned Hezbollah and encouraged not to fight against the Syrian people. It is noteworthy that Hezbollah has long ceased to be a marginal pro-Iranian group and right now it has serious control over Lebanon’s domestic and foreign policy.

On the one hand, the war in Syria is a tribute to Iran’s loyalty; on the other hand, it is a guarantee of their survival. If Assad’s regime falls in Syria, Hezbollah will be cut off the weapon supplies from Iran.

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October 18, 2018, “Al Arabiya”

For ‘Greater Iran’, Afghan, Pakistani fighters give their lives in Syria

As is known, the Iranian regime widely uses people from the Shiite communities of the neighboring countries in the Syrian war; mainly Iraq, Afghanistan, and Shiites from Pakistan to a lesser degree. This article is about Afghan and Pakistani fighters, who give their lives for “Greater Iran.”

Afghans fighting in Syria are probably one of the militant units controlled by Tehran. They are often used to attack opponents’ positions, and they have the highest rate of losses. Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a few million of Afghans have lived in Iran. Most of them do not have any documents, and they remain in the country illegally.

That makes it difficult for them to integrate into the Iranian society and puts them in a vulnerable position. It is needless to say that the majority of Afghans live in extreme poverty in Iran. The Iranian regime could always exploit vulnerable groups.

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September 20, 2018, “Al Arabiya”

Minorities in Iran are an Effective Force to Change the Regime

Iran is one of the topical issues of the world media. A large number of experts, politicians, journalists express some possible scenarios of regime change in Iran.

Speaking about the possible regime change in Iran, it should be borne in mind that the current Iranian regime itself seized power through mass protests, culminating in the armed seizure of power. For 40 years, this regime has done everything in order not to be deprived of power in the same way. I am almost sure that the versions of the “orange revolutions” tested in Ukraine and other post-Soviet republics will not work here. The regime has made sure that no serious opposition remains inside the country.

There are, of course, some opposition groups outside the country, but they are either mostly marginal or, in terms of “ultranationalism,” exceed the current regime. All this certainly complicates the change of government in Iran, even if the economy collapses.

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September 4, 2018 “Herald Report”

Is Washington losing Turkey?

It seems that the relations between Washington and Ankara have only been poor in recent times.

There are a lot of unresolved issues and disputes, which intermittently cause crises, between the two countries.

The reason for the last negative turn of events was the arrest of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical Presbyterian pastor who worked in Turkey’s Aegean region. In fact, the pastor was arrested in October 2016, as part of an investigation into the coup attempt that took place in July 2016. The Turkish authorities accuse the pastor of having links with the Gulen Movement, which was declared a terrorist organization in Turkey. The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has dedicated several tweets to Brunson, in which he expressed confidence in his innocence and called for his immediate release.

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August 22, 2018 “Modern Diplomacy”