Hamid Baeidinejad was reacting to Reuters’ claims on Monday that “about 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started on November 15.”
The report, vehemently spurned by Iran, was soon cited by US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, who urged action against the Islamic Republic.
It was also retweeted and dramatized feverishly by sources close to the MKO itself.
On Wednesday, Baeidinejad incorporated one of the MKO-sympathetic tweets in a post, saying the group had, by supporting the Reuters report, “identified itself as the only influential force managing and spearheading organized protests and street fights in Iran.”
In mid-November, a serious of protests broke out in several Iranian cities against a government decision to increase fuel prices. Those gatherings, however, descended into violence as riotous elements — many of them armed — infiltrated the protests, perpetrating acts vandalism against public and private property and randomly opening fire at everyone on the scene.
Authorities have reported fatalities among both civilians and security forces, but are yet to release an official figure while investigations are ongoing.
Reuters’ report surfaced over a week after the MKO’s ringleader posted a tweet, producing precisely the same alleged fatality figure.
Over 1,500 killed in the Iranian people’s nationwide uprising, This shocking crime is undoubtedly one of the most horrific crimes of the 21st century and by any measure amounts to a manifest case of crimes against humanity #Iranhttps://t.co/pT8KZoHNkr pic.twitter.com/1yNfpdRBYu— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) December 15, 2019
Hundreds of arrests have been made in connection with the riots. Authorities say many of the detainees were found to have links to the MKO.
The MKO has a dark history of assassinations and bombings against the Iranian government and nation. It notoriously sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s 1980-88’s war against Iran.
Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the 1979 victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to the MKO’s acts of terror. Western countries, topped by the US, have, however, taken the group out of their terror blacklists.
The group throws lavish conferences every year in Paris, with certain American, Western, and Saudi officials as its guests of honor.
Further in his chain of tweets, Baeidinejad said Reuters resorted to an old policy of dramatizing “a lie to try to make it plausible” by attempting to link the “crackdown” to what he called an “order” issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
This is while Ayatollah Khamenei has made “tolerance” an imperative in dealing with protesters, he added.
Leader calls for ‘Islamic mercy’ towards riot suspectsAytollah Khamenei says Islamic clemency should be shown in the wake of violent riots that broke out over fuel price hikes.
The envoy said the agency’s so-called fatality figure far exceeded even one given by Amnesty International, which, in its turn, “was meant to hype up unverified figures.”
Reuters has also claimed that hundreds of women died in Iran, while the protests witnessed a low female turnout, he added.
Baeidinejad added that Reuters’ permit had been rescinded by Iran years ago over the news agency’s “policy of manufacturing reports and generating lies,” noting that the agency’s lack of reporters on the ground and access to first-hand information effectually throws its whole alleged account into question.
Unfortunately, the agency — which was sold by its British owner to “a Zionist Canadian entity — “has over the recent years been pursuing a policy predicated on prejudgment and lies against Iran and the regional resistance movement,” the ambassador stated.
As a case in point, he cited an earlier report, which had alleged that a high-level security meeting had been convened in Iran to decide on potential attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
He said a United Nations report, however, proved those allegations to be wrong.
UN ‘unable’ to verify claims Iran was behind Saudi Aramco attacksThe UN chief says the world body’s investigators cannot verify the US and Saudi claims of Iran’s involvement in attacks on Aramco facilities in September.
Baeidinejad said the agency’s approach well reflected remarks made by “the owner of the Zionist media empire Rupert Murdock, who declared years ago that Jewish-owned media outlets across the world had a duty to support Israel.” “It comes as no surprise that today, the Canadian Zionist owner of Reuters’ top priority lies in providing support for the regime,” he added.
The official noted that relevant authorities in Iran would, pending conclusion of their examinations, produce an exact figure of the casualties that had resulted from the foreign-backed violence in November.
He asserted that the figure was far lower than the ones given by foreign sources, urging all international news agencies to act responsibility by refusing to misinform the public before the official figure was released.