OTTAWA (Dispatches) --
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has joined the chorus of social media trolls circulating a brazen lie against the Islamic Republic, as a campaign of fake news targeting the country goes into overdrive.
Trudeau tweeted that Canada “denounces the Iranian regime’s barbaric decision to impose the death penalty on nearly 15,000 protestors. These brave Iranians were fighting for their human rights — and we continue to stand united in support of them, and united against the regime’s heinous actions.”
Trudeau’s post, despite being immediately dismissed as false by several Twitter users, remained up for more than 11 hours and was shared thousands of times before it was deleted.
While the Canadian prime minister may have been the most important politician who shared the fake story, there were countless others who piled on – whether intentionally or unintentionally – and condemned the Islamic Republic thanks to the incredible lie.
The fake report especially went viral on Twitter and Instagram, where an infographic claimed that “Iran Sentences 15,000 protesters to death — as a ‘hard lesson’ for all rebels.” Many celebrities also fell for the lie and shared it with their followers.
Over the past two months, the Iranian social media has been flooded with false stories, many of which stem from foreign-based Persian media outlets, including the Saudi-funded Iran International news network, the BBC Persian, Voice of America (VOA), the London-based Manoto TV and Radio Farda, as well as thousands of bots and trolls controlled by the anti-Iran terrorist group Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) and Western spy agencies.
Earlier this month, Iran’s Fars news agency reported that between September 14 and October 31, the five outlets ran at least 38,000 false or misleading stories about the Islamic Republic. Iran International topped the list with 13,579 false stories.
Protests erupted after the death of Mahsa Amini, who fainted in a police station where she was receiving educational training on hijab and dress code rules. She was rushed to the hospital with a history of medical conditions, but passed away three days later on September 16.
Amini’s death was immediately exploited by foreign-based media outlets, which alleged that beatings by police were the cause of her death. Three weeks later, an investigation into her death, ordered by President Ebrahim Raisi, concluded that her death was caused by illness rather than alleged blows to her head and body. By that time, the protests had turned into extremely violent riots.
Iran Summons Australian Ambassador
Iran’s foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned Australia’s ambassador to protest recent anti-Iran comments by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the wrong-headed approach by the Australian prime minister “does not help bilateral relations.”
“The ambassador of Australia was
summoned to the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the necessary warnings were conveyed through her,” he said.
“It seems that the Prime Minister of Australia has taken a wrong-headed approach based on false information, which does not help the relations between the two countries,” he added.
Kanaani also said that Iran is ready to provide the Australian government with the correct narrative and away from media commotion regarding the developments in Iran.
Earlier, Albanese had publicly condemned Iranian authorities and called on Tehran “to respect human rights and respect the rights of people to protest peacefully.”
Kanaani said mutual respect and reliance on facts are the best way to prevent confusion in diplomacy.
“Australia lacks the least moral legitimacy to preach about human rights, given its human rights record which is full of challenges, from the murder of refugees to the murder of 500 aboriginals in the country’s prisons and the prohibition of professional research in these cases,” he said.
The spokesman also said sheltering terrorist and separatist groups and failing to condemn the brutal terrorist attack on the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh show the Australian government’s double standard toward human rights.