General Salami said the Amad News Telegram channel served the enemy through psychological warfare against Iran and was tasked with sowing doscord and helplessness in the Iranian society to incite unrests.
He described Zam’s capture an innovative intelligence operation at the highest levels of skillfulness which was completely surprising to enemies.
A statement by the IRGC said on Monday that Zam, who masterminded, organized and headed the notorious website and Telegram channel, Amad News, had been captured.
The IRGC’s intelligence organization, using new and professional intelligence methods and innovative tricks, deceived the foreign (spy) services and arrested Rouhollah Zam, the ringleader of anti-revolutionary and hostile Amad News site (and Telegram channel), the statement said.
It added that Zam who is accused of propaganda and attempts to foment insecurity and chaos and violent and terrorist acts in Iran was fooled to visit Iran and arrested.
The statement said that Zam who was guided by the French intelligence service and was supported by the US, Israeli and other spy agencies and was permanently protected with several layers of secret service coverage, including overt and covert protection, was detained by the IRGC intelligence organization.
A senior intelligence official at the IRGC top commander’s office revealed that Zam was monitored by the intelligence forces for two years.
“The intelligence forces had for a long time monitored Rouhollah Zam and his moves and he was in the IRGC’s intelligence web since nearly two years ago,” Brigadier General Mohammad Toulayee said on Tuesday.
He added that Zam was heavily supported by the foreign intelligence services, and the IRGC intelligence forces could detain him through a complicated intelligence operation.
Meantime, an official in the IRGC intelligence organization said that Zam was the confluence center of exchanging messages among the Amad News stream’s agents inside and outside the country and his detention can lead to identification and destruction of the network.
“The IRGC intelligence organization with its young, educated, faithful and highly motivated forces is a dynamic, agile and knowledge-based body that has managed to constantly surprise the enemy by applying new mechanisms based on innovative soft methods beyond the assessments of rival intelligence services,” he added.
On Wednesday Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said Zam’s capture displayed Iran’s intelligence superiority and might over enemies.
“The successful, professional and amazing move by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) intelligence organization to deceive, surprise and capture the ringleader of the anti-revolutionary, hostile and dependent channel, Amad News, imposed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s intelligence might on hostile intelligence services, specially the US, the Zionist regime, France and certain other European and regional states’ spy agencies, in a complicated, professional and innovative intelligence operation,” General Baqeri said in a congratulation message to the IRGC.
He added that the operation showed the IRGC intelligence forces’ smartness, prudence and strategic rationality in using new methods and modern instruments in intelligence and operation fields.
In March, Channel 2 of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting (IRIB) aired a documentary on Zam, an anti-Iran figure famous for his self-proclaimed leaked information against the country, revealing how the country’s intelligence forces had extensive surveillance over him and played him for a long span of time.
Amad News, a website and a Telegram-based news outlet with over one million subscribers, was a glimmer of hope for anti-Iran groups and their financial supporters who are mostly based in Western countries, with its self-proclaimed leaked pieces of information allegedly disclosing “much less known realities” about Iran.
After the Telegram channel of Amad News invited people to use violence and instructed how to assemble Molotov cocktails in last year unrests in a number of Iranian cities, the channel was closed by the social networking platform and the owners of the outlet opened a new one with the new name of Sedaei Mardom. Iran filed a complaint to shut down the new channel on charges of provoking violence, but Telegram’s Russian owner defied the request.
The anti-Iran mouthpiece was founded in 2015 mainly by Ruhollah Zam, the son of an Iranian official of 1990s.
In the documentary made by an Iranian intelligence service and aired by the IRIB’s Channel 2, an insider who had been cooperating with Zam is first identified and detained by the intelligence forces and the collaborator, self-called Alireza and sometimes Hajj Ali, continues his relationship with the head of Amad News.
Alireza had been in touch with Zam, who is known to his audience as Nima, for a long time from his room in Tehran through Whatsapp, and he was found and arrested through monitoring all of Zam’s contacts with his links through the application. Intelligence forces discovered that Alireza happens to be among the most important people in Iran that Zam is in touch with via Whatsapp.
A room in an intelligence organization of Iran is specified to the operation with changes in the decoration so that Nima would feel nothing suspicious. Alireza is still keeping in touch with Zam on a regular basis but this time under round-the-clock surveillance by cameras and microphones of the intelligence forces.
The operation is managed and commanded with a team of scenario writers of the intelligence body who are directing Alireza through this new chapter of his relations with Nima.
The intelligence experts conduct a series of gimmicks to find out more about the depth of Nima’s character and the nuances of his personality.
At first they find out that Nima is thirsty for more attention with more surprising news. They concoct new stories to feed the attention-beggar with fake stuff to see how he would deal with weird stories.
Much to their surprise, the sky is the limit for him and Nima’s obsession with astounding others has blinded him with stupidity. The con man likes fake news and the more fictional, the merrier.
In the film, you can see all the video dialogues of Alireza and Nima via Whatsapp recorded; in one of the scenes, Alireza is dictating a piece of fake news about travel ban to Iran’s central deserts, and Amad News chief hesitates not for even a single moment to release the news immediately on November 22.
During the dialogue, Nima asks Alireza if it is OK to publish the news also on the Asharq Al-Awsat, which shows the close ties between the anti-Iran figure and Saudi-funded media.
However, it is not the first time that the links between anti-Iran elements and Saudi funds is disclosed and, earlier, there were reports about financial supports for the Amad News by entities linked to Saudi Arabia, Israeli intelligence service Mossad, and Turkey.
Seven days later, Nima is fed with another fake news which he again publishes on his outlet, supposing that he has insiders with access to highly classified documents.
This time, Nima surprises his audience with the news that Telegram will be replaced by Elegram by a British national Vasily Dorsiev, a name that you will find no bearer for it online, with zero results in Google. Nima even believes such a big lie, and reassures his followers that he has access to very high secretive information which no one else can verify but he himself.
Little by little, the intelligence experts are more reassured with the fact that Nima is suffering from a malign level of delusions of grandeur.
At a time in the film you can see that Alireza has won Nima’s trust and Zam discloses more of his inner feelings to him.
Once Zam tells Alireza that a Jewish astrologist has told a friend of him that Nima will surely become an important person by the future 22 months. He then calls himself as a sun-like god who is shining and kills those who approach him too much.
Gradually, Zam spins more stuff around this illusion and asks other friends to enquire his fortune from more palm readers and horoscopists.
Music to his ear, Nima hears more of this sort of flattery and is offered more mesmerizing soft soap by friends and manipulators.
With his mind-blowing pieces of news, now Zam has accumulated a high level of reputation for himself among the anti-Iran figures linked to Western intelligence services.
Accordingly, the intelligence commanders and experts involved in the operation decide to find out more about other anti-Iran figures in touch with Zam who are mainly residing in France and the US. They decide to use the newly won fame of Nima, as bait to attract other anti-Iran people.
Alireza asks Nima to establish closer relations with former Iranian president Abolhassen Banisadr who was impeached by the Iranian legislature in June 1981 and fled to Paris the following month.
Nima calls Banisadr’s office and an appointment is arranged. French security forces escort him to the venue and while he is in a bullet-proof vehicle, he tells Alireza through a video call that bodyguards with machine guns are accompanying him. With his cellphone, he films one of the machine guns and says, “The French intelligence service is perfect.”
After meeting Baniasdr, Nima tells Alireza that guards protecting Baniasdr’s place were shocked with the bodyguards in his company who all carried machine guns, and did not let Nima and his protectors to enter in till a call from superior French security ranks issues the permit. He adds that even Banisadr has lost his hope for regime change in Iran.
He adds that Banisadr has reassured him that the US will never attack Iran and Reza Pahlavi is a minor player with no significance.
Reza Pahlavi, the son of Iran’s last dictator who left the country along with his father in 1979, is another anti-Iran person Nima is asked to get in touch.
Nima downplays Reza Pahlavi, saying that Pahlavi is under total control of his mother, the widow of the toppled king of Iran, and is regarded as an unimportant pawn in this game.
“Reza Pahlavi is no good even for occupying the post of a governor in a village,” Nima (Zam) says, despising the son of the deposed king.
“I have information from his close buddies, and I know that he even walks at home at nights imagining himself as reviewing Iran’s army,” Nima says, quoting a link named as Yasser.
Nima says that the heir to Iran’s toppled throne has repetitively sent him messages through mediators to ask for help.
In another scene, Pahlavi and Zam are exchanging messages, and Nima asks Pahlavi what his rank and position will be in the post-coup government of the dreaming prince, hoping that the US will help for staging a coup in Iran.
Amir Abbas Fakhravar is another anti-Iran figure Nima talks about in his video calls with Alireza.
He says that Fakhravar is the most hated anti-Iran person among the US-backed fellows, adding that he is paid $300,000 per annum for anti-Iran operation.
Zam recounts that a Jewish American is funding Fakhravar, adding that he squanders the whole sum of money with luxurious travels to Washington and other cities with no accomplishment.
Zam brags about his contacts with all anti-Iran figures, and to prove his close ties to Alireza, Nima calls Ardashir Amir Arjmand – the top advisor of Mir-Hossein Moussavi the leader of the 2009 post-election unrests in Iran who is now under house arrest – telling him that he is in Paris and he wants to meet Amir Arjmand.
Amir Arjmand had a destructive role in post-election unrests of 2009 in Iran. Thanks to his brother’s high rank in the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as MEK, NCRI or PMOI), Amir Arjmand escaped to Iraqi Kurdistan and there he met with French security agents who took him to Paris.
About the status of MKO terrorist group among US-sponsored anti-Iran groups, Zam tells Alireza that Americans have an instrumental approach to the MKO. Nima says that if Americans manage to stage a coup in Iran, they would use MKO for a short period of reign of terror. “They will be tasked with carrying out a flash massacre to kill a few millions in the first phase, and then they will be eliminated,” he adds.
Touching upon Masih Alinejad, Nima says that she is a sentimental and minor role player of no significance.
About his own source of finance, Zam says he and his family were given a bank account upon their arrivcal in France, adding that he is paid 12,000 euros a month through the bank account of his daughter Mahsa by French authorities.
In their long video talks, Alireza asks for Zam’s opinion about other anti-Iran fellows like Noureddin Pirmoazzen, Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, Mohsen Sazgara, Farah Diba, Masih Alinejad, Davoud Kashi, and in most cases, Nima uses pejorative language to describe his fellows as foolhearted idiots, saying that all are his puppets looking up to him.
In another scene, Fakhravar, in a telephone call, tells him that he is looking forward to hearing the latest announcement of the Amad news.
Zam also talks about the network of Western-sponsored media run or presented by Mohammad Hosseini, Bijan Farhoudi, Hassan Shariatmadari, Ali Javanmardi, Hassan Etemadi, and Manouchehr Mohammadi, all the figures who claim to be the noteworthy and at times leader of the opposition of the Islamic Republic.
He boasts in most of the dialogues that all of the media people of anti-Iran networks are lower than him, manipulated by his news.
Early in December, Iranian intelligence experts make up another fake news, concocting that a top secret operation will kick off in Tel Aviv to revive a new monarchy in Tehran with the new king named as Cyrus the Second.
Following that, Nima released the news about operation Cyrus the Second on December 09 with keywords like “Tehran’s Conquest” and the “Big Operation of Restoring Cyrus the Great”. The piece jolts the disintegrated opposition front like a powerful quake with many claiming to be the next king!!!
With the latest fake news on line, all the opposition of the Islamic Republic from Mohammad Hosseini, a TV host who has been nicknamed as the clown of opposition, to Farah Diba the widow of the deposed King Pahlavi and her son Reza Pahlavi start new programs to say that they are part of the operation, informed of it, and even claiming to be the Cyrus the Second.
Pressured to realize US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s dream of preventing Iran from seeing the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Zam was awarded funds to join a big anti-Iran campaign, codenamed as the Hard Winter.
Zam knows himself as the spiritual father of riots in Iran and the leader of the last year’s sporadic protests. He thinks that he can stage a second winter of protests.
In the operation Hard Winter, all anti-Iran people are formed in three ties and all the people involved are promised to be disclosed to the public in future episodes of this documentary by Iranian security bodies. The first tie is called the Council of Media Coordination with ten members.
The tie is comprised of the media people tasked with stirring discontent and unhappiness among the masses of people in Iran.
Ali Javanmardi, a reporter the Voice of America (VOA), is commissioned with stirring disruptions in Iran’s foreign currencies exchange markets through fake news to stir anxiety among the Iranian public. He runs a Telegram channel with objectives to sabotage Iran’s economy, and is stationed in one of Iran’s neighboring counties.
Americans were hopeful to hold the Warsaw conference concurrent with the promised operations of people like Zam inside Iran.
But much to their dismay, all these efforts fruited nothing and the Western funders of the operation got angry.
Following the massive turnout of Iranians in the public rallies of February 11 to mark the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Zam tells Alireza that he is very disappointed and he will turn into husbandry to change his job.
Revealing more of his inner feelings, in another dialogue with Alireza, Nima says that the Islamic Republic of Iran is formidably strengthened.
Angry and disappointed, he says that he was very dispirited how he was treated after he softly criticized Reza Pahlavi. “I found out that these people would hang all our mothers and fathers if they could claim the throne in Tehran.”
Shocked with Iran’s intelligence superiority in dealing with Western-backed groups, Maziar, the technician in charge of supporting anti-Iran media, tells Nima and Alkireza that Iran has managed to gain access to all data transactions through Whatsapp and Instagram social media platforms saying that the Iranian security bodies have eventually broken the key codes of these two social media networks.
Disheartened and much concerned, Zam says that all their connection channels are leaked with holes and Iran is exercising surveillance over them.