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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

The Distortion Factory

Published Friday, December 5, 2008

La Herradura, 5 Dec. (IPS)          In a recent article, Mr. Hoseyn Bastani, the Editor of “Rooz”, an independent, pro reform internet newspaper based in Paris and London, explained that what makes the senior Iranian decision-makers take wrong decisions and their wishes for realities is the so-called “confidential” bulletins which contains unreal, extravagant  analysis and theories prepared by persons who wants to influence the decision-makers by pleasing them, above all the very person of the megalomaniac Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i.(see IPS article “Who Is Behind the Decisions of Iranian Decision-Makers”)

An opinion survey conducted recently by the Information (Intelligence) Ministry on orders of the Office of the Leader and on “recommendation” from the Office of the President”, a staggering eighty percent of the persons interviewed said they want relations between Iran and the United States be resumed.

Ali Khamenehi-3
Most of the decisions Iranian leaders take are based on invented analysis, information

The questions, concerning mostly relations with the United States, Israel, Palestine, Hezbollah and Iraq, showed the majority of Iranians wants full relations with Washington, are against “antagonizing Israel”, that they support peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, that they are “very” critical of the “exaggerated financial, propaganda, health care and political assistance” to both Hamas and Hezbollah and want Iran to “seriously and genuinely” help the situation in Iraq.

“To tell you the truth, having in mind what happened to Mr. Qazian and his firm, we fear for our future, our families, our situation, that‘s why what we generally submit to the authorities are, if the findings are not what they want to read, distorted, like this time, when we reported that the majority of the people interviewed said they support the general line of policies established by the Great Leader and conducted by the courageous President and his Government”, one of the men involved in the project told me, on condition of not identifying him.

 Mr. Hoseyn Qazian he was referring to is the former Director of a polling firm that was shut down years ago and its directors jailed for sometimes after publishing results of a survey carried on behalf of an American think tank that showed 75 per cent of the interviewees wanted normal relations with America and were not hostile to Israel.

To tell you the truth, most of the information, analysis we present the authorities are to please them, we are affraid to present them the truth.

“The reason for the closure of the firm and the imprisonment of Mr. Qazian and some of his colleagues was simply that the survey proved that the majority of the Iranians do not approve of the stubborn opposition of Mr. Khameneh’i to resuming relations with Washington”, explained Mr. Alireza Nourizadeh, a popular dissident journalist based in London.

 “Not only often we distort and twist the findings, but even the tapes of interviews we presents to the concerned authorities are faked, as they are interviews with people we have told them what to say”, the source stressed.

It is on the basis of such distorted information and analysis that the senior officials in charge of running the nation make their assumptions about international and domestic situations and take decisions that though catastrophic, yet they are persuaded to be on the right track and it is the others who are wrong.

 “Except very few centres, like that of the Majles Research and Investigation Unit or the Strategic Studies Research Department of the Expediency Council that produces some serious analysis, (which, according to the Governments, might be seen as positive or negative), almost all of Iran’s so-called research or public opinion groups are nothing but factories specializing in distorting facts”, pointed out a veteran university professor.

Keyhan is the main factory misleading the authorities in taking decisions

The main misleading body is the hard line daily Keyhan, who’s Chief Editor, Mr. Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, an official high-ranking intelligence officer specializing in interrogating dissidents of all caliber and professions, has been appointed by Mr. Khameneh’i.

Dubbed as the Leader’s Goebbels, Mr. Shari’atmadari is one, if not the most trusted advisors of Ayatollah Khameneh’i. As his mouthpiece, he do not fear insulting foreign dignitaries like the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the President of Egypt or the Head of the Palestinian Authority, creating problems for the regime’s official diplomacy.

“Except very few centres, almost all of Iran’s so-called research or public opinion groups are nothing but factories specializing in distorting facts.

Besides inventing extravagant theories about developments in other countries, Mr. Shari’atmadari, who has a very imaginative mind, has the power of sending dissidents to prison by making baseless, but dangerous charges against them, like working for or collaborating with American and Israelis intelligence networks to prepare “coloured, soft revolution” in Iran, plotting against the security of the State with foreigners etc.

             “I don’t know if Mr. Khameneh’i is aware of the fact that what Mr. Shari’atmadari and his colleagues presents to him are for most part pure invention, baseless, gross lies, but what I know is that good part of the decisions he takes are based on the assption of what Mr. Shari’atmadari says is genuine”, the scholar said. ENDS DISTORTION OF FACTS 51208


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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Hoseyn shari'atmadari
Mr. Hoseyn Shari'atmadari runs the country's most important organisation behind decisions tken by decsion-makers

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