Jun. 19, 2013 (TSR) – Iran has rejected western media disinformation claiming that the Islamic Republic of Iran has intentions to send 4,000 troops to help the Syrian army in its fight against western-backed terrorists.
“We categorically deny this information,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Seyyed Abbas Araqchi told in his weekly press conference on Tuesday, adding Tehran has never and would never send its troops to Damascus.
Perfectly timed on Iran’s election day and G8, the British Independent on Sunday, citing “pro-Iranian sources,” reported on June 16 that Iran, Syria’s strategic ally, has decided to send 4,000 troops to Syria. Iran “has proposed opening up a new ‘Syrian’ front on the Golan Heights against Israel” to help prop up the Assad regime, the report written by Robert Fisk said.
The decision to send a contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria was taken before the June 14 presidential election which brought reformist-backed cleric Hassan Rouhani to power, it also said. The disinformation has been viralled by many major media outlets.
The Spokesperson further emphasised that the Syrian government and army have all the necessary means to fight against terrorists acting in Syria, and Iran has no need to provide military aid to Syrian authorities.
“The Syrian government and army do not need such a thing as they are capable to confront the armed terrorist groups and defeat them,” he said.
Iran has repeatedly rejected foreign interferences, especially in military aspects, in Syria crisis, insisting that the problem should be settled by a consensus between the Syrian people and government.
“We repeatedly stated that we want a political solution and we are against any foreign intervention in Syria,” Abbas Araqchi pointing out that Iran’s Syria policy had never changed and support for any initiative to resolve the crisis in Syria politically, particularly the efforts exerted by Russia in this regard.
Abbas Araqchi pointed out that Iran will continue its consultations with all countries to reach a political and peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria that serves the Syrian people’s interest.
“Iran supports the forthcoming international conference scheduled in Geneva on Syria and hopes the conference will be held in a proper time and in the presence of the influential countries regarding the Syria issue,” the Iranian official said.
He further hoped the Geneva 2 conference will be held with participation of all groups concerned to work out an acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis.
Abbas Araqchi said no date and agenda have been set for the international conference on Syria to be held in Geneva due to lack of agreement and harmony among the Syrian opposition groups. The Syrian opposition, until now, have not yet agreed to participate in the conference or elect its representatives.
Abbas Araqchi said they have not even made final decision on the countries they want to invite.
If Iran is invited to the conference, it will review the invitation through a constructive and positive approach, said Abbas Araqchi.
Iran is verbally invited to the conference, he said, adding Tehran is still waiting for results of negotiations about the issue.
Asked if the Zionist Israeli regime is invited to the Geneva conference on Syria Iran will participate in it, Araqchi said “no judgement should made until the issue is clarified”.
He noted that his country did not expect that the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Saturday will cut off relations with Syria. ” Egypt’s role should be a constructive one regarding the regional issues through the political dialogue, ”
He noted that Iran will continue its contacts with Egypt on Syria to reach a solution to the crisis.
Meanwhile, Foreign minister Ali-Akbar Salehi of Iran and his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr discussed Tehran-Cairo relations during a phone call Sunday evening and stressed the importance of holding a national dialogue to find a diplomatic way out of the Syrian crisis, IRNA report.
According to al-Mayadeen news website on Tuesday Salehi reiterated when asked about Egypt’s full severing of relations with Syria, “Egypt could have played a great role in solving the ongoing crisis in that country”.?
Commenting on the recent protests in Turkey, Araqchi called on both the Turkish people and government to exercise restraint.
He rejected any foreign meddling in the internal developments in Turkey, saying, “this is an internal problem and no foreign party has the right to meddle in it.”
The unrest in Turkey erupted after police broke up a sit-in staged at Istanbul’s Taksim Square on May 31 to protest against a government plan for the redevelopment of Gezi Park in the city.
Araqchi also dismissed recent remarks by Canadian foreign minister John Baird on the June 14 presidential election in the Islamic Republic.
“I see little necessity to respond to these remarks,” He said.
“Remarks of this type have been made by the Canadian foreign minister several times, and I have come to the conclusion that one should doubt his (Baird’s) political judgment,” Araqchi noted.
On June 16, Baird, who has a reputation for making rude interfering remarks, described Iran’s 11th presidential election as “effectively meaningless.”
For the Iranian presidential elections, Araqchi stressed that the Iranians’ wide participation in the presidential election has proved the people’s support to the political system.
Hassan Rohani emerged victorious in Iran’s June 14 election, which was marked by a high voter turnout, winning 50.7 percent of a total of 36,704,156 ballots counted.
The voter turnout in the election was 72.7 percent, according to Iran’s Interior Ministry.
The British Independent Paper and Robert Fisk: Why the Disinformation?
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Russian billionaire former KBG officer Alexander Lebedev since 2010, and is regarded as leaning to the left politically, but tends to take a more pro-market stance on economic issues. It has not affiliated itself with any political party and it originally described itself as “free from party political bias, free from proprietorial influence”—a banner it carried on the front page of its daily edition. This banner was dropped in September 2011. In July 2012, it had an average daily circulation of 83,619, and the Sunday edition had a circulation at 118,759. But in March 2013, the head circulation rose up to 302,757.
Alexander Lebedev said when he took over in 2010: “I invest in institutions which contribute to democracy and transparency and, at the heart of that, are newspapers which report independently and campaign for the truth to be revealed.
“I am a supporter of in-depth investigative reporting and campaigns which promote transparency and seek to fight international corruption. These are things the Independent has always done well and will, I hope, continue to do,” he said.
Who is the deliberate media disinformation target by the owner? Russian President Vladimir Putin. Iran is merely a by-product.
Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB officer turned media owner, announced on 2010 that he and President Mikhail Gorbachev plan to establish Novaya Independent Media Foundation (NIMF), a not for profit organisation which will finance global media projects.
With former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he also jointly owns the liberal Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta, whose correspondent Anna Politkovskaya was gunned down in 2006. She was well known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin. She authored several books about the Chechen wars, as well as Putin’s Russia, and received numerous prestigious international awards for her work. Her murder, which occurred on Vladimir Putin’s birthday, was widely perceived as a contract killing, sparking a strong international reaction.
Lebedev reportedly offered $1m as a reward for information to bring Anna Politkovskaya’s killers to justice.
A week after the Politkovskaya’s assassination, former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko accused Putin of sanctioning the murder. Two weeks after this statement, Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium. Alexander Litvinenko was once an employee of Boris Berezovsky, one of the first Russian oligarchs to settle in London when he fled Moscow in 2001 after falling out with Vladimir Putin. Boris Berezovsky died by hanging on March 23, 2013 who was about to go on vacation with his 23 year old girlfriend to Israel on March 25.
Meanwhile, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has been working with US in discrediting and has been very busy in opposing Putin’s rise to presidency, since 2011.
What about Fisk?
Fisk has a history of being spiked when he used to for work Rupert Murdoch’s The Times, which became the reason for move to The Independent in April 1989.
In journalistic parlance, spiking refers to withholding a story from publication for reasons pertaining to its veracity (whether or not it conforms to the facts). Reasons for spiking a reporter’s story include a clear bias, a major hole or a sudden change in events, and the decision is not taken lightly, as a valid, usually detailed explanation will be solicited by those further up the chain of command, often at the behest of the reporter.
He has been Middle East correspondent of The Independent for more than thirty years, primarily based in Beirut. He has also been voted International Journalist of the Year seven times. He has published a number of books and reported on several wars and armed conflicts. An Arabic speaker, he is one of a few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden, which he did on three occasions between 1993 and 1997.
Fisk is a pacifist and has never voted. He has said that journalism must “challenge authority, all authority, especially so when governments and politicians take us to war.” He has quoted with approval the Israeli journalist Amira Hass: “There is a misconception that journalists can be objective … What journalism is really about is to monitor power and the centres of power.”
Interestingly, speaking on “Lies, Misreporting, and Catastrophe in the Middle East,” at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 22 September 2010, Fisk stated in a radio program, “I think it is the duty of a foreign correspondent to be neutral and unbiased on the side of those who suffer, whoever they may be.”
In 2007, Fisk expressed personal doubts about the official historical record of the attacks. In an article for The Independent, he claimed that, while the Bush administration was incapable of successfully carrying out such attacks due to its organisational incompetence, he is “increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11“.
Why would Fisk use his name to sign this disinformation? He is a paid employee.