A report by Iran’s official news agency IRNA has analyzed the way certain foreign Persian-speaking media outlets cover the developments pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, saying the “biased and unprofessional” coverage comes as no surprise
This is the key question: Will Iranian people be swayed by the propaganda campaigns launched by Persian-speaking foreign media outlets which are often established and funded by governments opposed to Iran, or are Iranians smart enough to doubt the good intentions of producers working for these media? Experience over the past four decades show the Iranian nation has, at determining and sensitive junctures, disappointed and embarrassed foreign media moguls?
No wonder most Persian-speaking foreign media have, over the past forty years, adopted the same double-standards with regards to Iran and sought to paint a black picture of events in Iran.
The death toll from the coronavirus as well as the number of infections is on the rise the world over, and Iran is no exception. Governments’ ways of handling this pandemic has been different from each other and have sometimes been criticized. Every country and territory has made decisions in that regard based on the existing circumstances and adopted measures accordingly. As a result, it seems that various local models have emerged in different countries in the fight against the coronavirus. Still, facts pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic are roughly the same all around the world, by the way that certain media report realities on the ground in Iran is studded with many contradictions and differences. Reports by some foreign media paint a deplorable picture of the situation in Iran while describing the situation in other parts of the world as stable. This comes as fatality figures from the coronavirus pandemic are grim in all parts of the world, and the COVID-19 crisis has paralyzed many economies and government resources even in countries such as the United States.
Coronavirus: Single Subject Beset by Double Standards
Decisions, measures, damage and fatalities pertinent to the coronavirus, and even officials’ contracting the disease, are all common subjects now when the world is gripped by the coronavirus pandemic; nevertheless, certain foreign media outlets, whether Persian-speaking ones or others, seek to create the impression that the above-mentioned parameters in Iran are critical, dangerous, inefficient, insufficient, on the rise and growing, to the detriment of people and against their interests, while the situation outside Iran is calm, under control and in people’s interest.
Despite the coronavirus crisis in the world, some of these media outlets have focused more than 90 percent of their activities on the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran. They have allocated hours and hours of their airtime to programs aimed at fueling people’s concerns by spreading rumours, reporting untrue comments attributed to authorities, painting a black picture of measures adopted, distorting figures pertaining to the losses and death toll from the disease, and aggrandizing the performance of foreign governments while downplaying the measures adopted by Iran to fight the disease.
The Performance of the Iranian government has been acceptable in comparison with that of many other countries, and that is why foreign media resort to spreading rumours and making outrageous comments in order to hit out at Iran. The report news about meetings that were never held, fabricate scenarios about Iran’s decisions and measures that were never adopted, and make analyses accordingly. As a case in point, one of foreign Persian-speaking media outlets made a false claim recently. It falsely quoted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as saying that economic activities should not stop even if millions of Iranians die! Or that some 30 million hungry people will take to the streets if economic activities are halted! In response, Iran categorically rejected the story as a sheer lie.
Objectives of Psychological-Media Warfare against Iran
Among the major goals pursued by Persian-language foreign media are to make Iranian people disappointed with government measures, shattering their trust in the government’s decisions, and, finally, weaken the Iranian ruling system in countering the coronavirus. This is not something new and, at the same time, is a blatant violation of the principles that these very media outlets and international circles claim should be observed. These media outlets seek to intensify people’s sufferings at a time when Iranians are grappling with and economic crisis which is the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and US sanctions.
Now, local media should make every effort to disseminate the right information and tell people the reality about the false reports carried by foreign media in order to neutralize this media campaign.