The Kurdistan Regional Government has rejected the reports that the “Paris-backed” head of anti-Iran propaganda website Rouhollah Zam was arrested near the Iraqi Kurdistan’s border with Iran.
The KRG on Thursday dismissed a report by Beirut-based TV station Al Mayadeen that claimed Zam, the head of Amad News, had been arrested in Erbil and then transferred to Iran.
The report, quoting the sources, claimed that Zam had arrived in Iraq early Saturday morning October 12, 2019 while he was monitored by Iranian security forces.
After his arrival in Iraq, he reportedly went to French embassy in Baghdad and after meeting with some elements from French security forces, departed for Erbil.
Zam was expected to meet some Iranians connected to him in Erbil, but was arrested near the border with Iran and then was transferred into Iran.
Zam is finally behind bars after being arrested through a sophisticated intelligence operation by the IRGC.
Zam who lived in Paris, operated the opposition Telegram channel and news site dubbed “Amad News” with over one million followers.
Observers say his arrest is not an issue of free speech since there are several other anti-Iran news outlets that are operating freely.
Zam’s arrest is considered a blow to foreign intelligence services that directed and supported him, especially the French intelligence service as well as the US and Israeli intelligence services, according to a statement released by the IRGC.
On Sunday night, Zam appeared on Iran’s national TV and expressed remorse for his wrongdoings. He said “I am sorry for the way I have behaved and misused mass media. I am sorry for trusting foreign governments. Trusting the French government in particular, was wrong. I never thought I would get caught.”
Photos of plane tickets released by anti-Iran news website IranWire on Wednesday indicate that Zam was apparently en route to Baghdad through Amman on October 11 before being arrested. He has even sent his wife a photo of himself in the Amman airport.