Paris, May (IPS) The radical Iranian newspaper “Keyhan”, which most Iranians consider an Intelligence-security minister and judiciary bis, has accused the United States of having created in Iran a spy network using Iranian-American scholars, naming Mrs. Haleh Esfandiari as the “central figure” of the C.I.A and Israel efforts to recruits Iranian scholars into the “spies nest”.
Besides Mrs. Esfandiari, the 67 years-old Director of the Wilson Woodrow Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Mr. Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, a high ranking intelligence officer specializing in the interrogation of political and intellectual dissidents, named as the executive editor of the paper by Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, denounced Mr. Kian Tajbakhsh, a prominent urban planner and economist, as well as Mrs. Parnaz Azima, a journalist with the Persian service of the Prague-based Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty and Mr. Ali Shakeri, an activist of being among the leading members of the network.
the fact that the article claims to be documented and accurate, nevertheless, it is full of deliberate lies and distortions.
Since her incarceration 17 days ago, Haleh has been allowed only one- or two-minute phone calls with her mother. She speaks as if a minder is present. No visits are allowed, no legal representation. With so little contact, I have every reason to assume the worst: that she is subject to blindfolding, solitary confinement and harsh, even brutal interrogation calculated to extract a false confession.
Some suggest that hard-liners wanted Haleh in custody to block next week's U.S.-Tehran talks. Others say the government wants to trade her for Iranians held in Iraq. This is mere speculation. The only explanation I've been given came in a statement issued Monday by the Ministry of Intelligence, a fantastical accusation that reveals the imaginary web Tehran wants to weave to entrap my wife and others.
It goes like this: American think tanks such as the Wilson Center are advancing a U.S. government plan for a "soft toppling" of Iran, creating "links" between Iranian intellectuals and U.S. institutions and forming "informal communication networks" that can then be used "against the sovereignty of the country." In effect, in the eyes of the Iranian government, any exchange among scholars is tantamount to treasonous conspiracy.
In a recent article entitled “Who is Haleh Esfandiari?”, after boasting that he and his paper have been “the first” to warn against American plots to destabilize the Iranian theocracy employing American scholars and academics of Iranian origin, Mr. Shari’atmadari produced a number of materials from the classified documents of the Intelligence Ministry to which Keyhan has full access, books and other press items to prove that both Mrs. Esfandiari and her husband, Shaul Bakhash, a respected professor, writer and political analyst – that the paper, like other pro-government media insists on being “a Jew” -- are “spies” working for the United States and Israel.
But as usual, the article contained plenty of deliberately wrong information, errors, accusations, most of them fabricated at the Keyhan disinformation factory, some of them from Intelligence Ministry’s files, that shows how flawed and inaccurate information they have on the long list of opponents are wrong.
In an open letter published in Farsi by the London-based independent Iranian weekly newspaper “Nimrooz” on its 17th May 2007 issue, Mr. Bakhash points to all the inaccuracies in the Keyhan article, saying:
“Keyhan newspaper, in its 23 Ordibehesht 1386 (12th May 2007) edition, published a long article entitled “Keyhan’s documented report “Who is Haleh Esfandiari”.
“Despite the fact that the article claims to be documented and accurate, nevertheless, it is full of deliberate lies and distortions. The reporter had not even had the potential of writing correctly the most basic facts; some of them are as follows:
“It is wrong that Shaul Bakhash was Chief Editor of Keyhan International in the years 1340 to 1350 (1961-1971);
“In the 7th volume of the Spies Net Documents”, there is no such a thing that “Shaul Bakhash is a good journalist for America”, but only “Shaul Bakhash is a good journalist”;
“Haleh Esfandiari and Shaul Bakhash are not Zionists;
“It is not correct that “Shaul Bakhash went to America for some secret missions and educations”. He first went to Harvard University in America to continue his studies and then to Oxford University and got his Doctorate in 1351 (1971) from that University;
“It is an outright lie to say that “Haleh Esfandiari and her husband were presented to the team of Dariush Homayoun (former Chief Executive of Ayandegan newspaper and Information Minister) in Ayandegan newspaper by the Mosad spying service”. In fact, neither of them has never been part of the process of the creation of Ayandegan and have never worked at this newspaper or published any article there. When Ayandegan was published first, they were not in Iran;
“It is a flagrant lie that “Haleh Esfandiari fled to Israel in 1351 (1972). In fact, she had left Iran months before for England. Haleh Esfandiari has never lived in Israel and moreover, has never set foot in there;
“Shaul Bakhash’s book on the Iranian revolution was published in 1364 (1985) and not in 1361 (1982). As a result, the Rah e Zendegi magazine could not have published some pages of the book on it’s 28/11/1362 (17/2/1983) issue;
“It is a lie that “Haleh Esfandiari fled to Israel in 1351 (1972). In fact, she never lived in Israel and moreover, has never set foot in there.
“Nowhere in the book Shahul Bakhash has said, or even speculated that “the Islamic Republic would fall in a near future”;
“It is a lie that Haleh Esfandiari returned to America from Israel during the time of the sacred war, for she has never been in Israel;
“It is a lie that Haleh Esfandiari created the Iranian section in the official Israeli lobby in the United States, for she has never worked for any Israeli lobby;
“It is a lie that Haleh Esfandiari was the Head of the Iranian office in the AIPAC lobby;
Haleh Esfandiari has never organized any seminar for AIPAC, let alone organizing several seminaries;
Haleh Esfandiar was not responsible for the 2004 conference AIPAC concerning Iranian atomic programs, she has never invited George Bush, Ehud Olmert, Hilary Clinton, John Bolton, Condoleezza Rice and other to deliver speeches in the AIPAC meeting or any other conferences;
“The meeting Keyhan refers to could not be a “turning point in the Zionist activities of Haleh Esfandiari”, for she has never organized such a meeting, she did not took part in it and she did not knew anything about it;
“Therefore, Haleh Esfandiari could not have any link to the workshop as part of that conference;
“Contrary to the Keyhan allegations, programmes of the Wilson Woodrow Centre and programmes organized by Haleh Esfandiari are not ordered by the Israeli committee of AIPAC. The final aim of programmes organized by Haleh Esfandiari was not for a revolution from within. Programmes of the Wilson Woodrow are not decided by AIPAC;
“The five Iraqi women who took part alongside of Haleh Esfandiari in the1384 (2005) conference were not supporters of the occupiers. The ywere Iraq women looking for way of reconstructing their nation, the reconstruction of Iraq was the subject of their conference. It is a shame that the writer of Keyhan who does not know these patriotic Iraqi women and has never met them talks is this way aboutb them;
“It is a baseless lie that Haleh Esfandiari is one of the principal elements of Israel or a spy of Mosad for implementation of velvet revolution strategy. In fact, Haleh Esfandiari had never carried secret missions in Iran and was not a media spy in Iran. She had any role in the creation of a network between America and Dubai. There has never been any relation between Haleh Esfandiari and Radio Farda, Rooz Online or recruiting people for working in Prague. These accusations are pure imagination and have nothing with the truth and realities. All these are shameful fabrications by the writer of Keyhan. The list of the lies of Keyhan is endless, but I just stop at the points mentioned”.
"It is regretful that Kayhan, one of Iran's oldest newspapers which is still in publication and boasts a distinguished history, should allow so much untruth to appear on its pages".
Iran Press Service adds:
As correctly stated by Mr. Bakhash, the list of lies, accusations, allegations, falsifications, fabrications etc… against all those who are not in the line of the line of the megalomaniac, narcistic, egocentric leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i is endless.
The paper, and its editor, Mr. Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, are directory responsible for the physical elimination of hundreds of Iranian political and intellectual dissidents, assassinated at the hands of the Intelligence and security Ministry on fictions fabricated by Keyhan, scotching together every thing their poor and sick brain can think about, without ever producing any verified and genuine document.
It is interesting that the fiction writers of the paper, including Mr. Shari’atmadari, not only manipulates even the official documents of the country to mount falsified accusations against dissidents, but also invents scenarios, conferences, meetings, trips, dates, places to implicate opponents.
To accuse dissidents, they don’t hesitate to manipulate official documents, as seen by the revealing testimony of Dr. Bakhash, changing dates and places, fabricate roles, accuse innocent people of espionage and plot against the security of the regime.
Also, the degree of ignorance by the regime’s organs and officials in charge of the security of the ruling system from the outside world, their paranoia and fear from the elite, the media, the scholars and the intellectuals is so astonishing that one may ask if they are not considering people as being totally ignorants.
But the most worrisome is that what Keyhan and some other affiliated media creates in their lies factory is presented to the regime’s highest decision-makers, like Mr. Khameneh’i himself, as facts and realities and as a result. ENDS KEYHAN LIES 4607