Iranian Americans for Liberty (IAL) Executive Director Bryan E. Leib said it is likely the Iranian regime has infiltrated big tech platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as mainstream media sources, in an effort to silence critics of the regime and bolster Iranian propaganda.
“I think there’s a lot of mouthpieces that they have whether it’s here in the U.S. or around the world…one being big tech, so Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, all of the above, and then also, your traditional media sources as well,” said Leib on The Foreign Desk with Lisa Daftari podcast Friday.
Leib specifically pointed to CNN as being a potential “mouthpiece” for the regime, citing the multiple times the outlet has provided Iran’s Foreign Minister and chief propagandist Javad Zarif with the opportunity to speak on their platform while only “asking softball questions” and avoiding the topic of human rights issues.
Leib described how several decades ago the regime would track down dissidents around the globe and put a bullet in their head, including those who sought refuge on U.S. soil, emphasizing that, while the regime’s methods have changed over time, the voices of Iranians who wish for freedom and basic human rights continue to be silenced.
According to Leib, IAL receives messages every week from Iranian Americans who were suspended from Twitter for simply pushing back on the regime, while Twitter continues to provide Ayatollah Khamenei and those who support the regime with a largely uncensored platform.
“That’s very problematic, and honestly it’s pretty scary that in a way we have to ask ourselves, has the Iranian regime infiltrated big tech?”
While Leib acknowledges there is currently no definitive way to say ‘yes,’ he believes “a commonsense perspective” provides enough unease to warrant a deeper investigation.
Leib believes Congressmembers needs to increase their efforts to eradicate the reaches of the Iranian regime within the U.S and to investigate whether the regime really does have a hold on these big tech platforms that maintain such enormous influence on entire populations.
In regard to the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it is clear to Leib that Iran is not a regime that should be trusted to have “unchecked power” in the region.
“The fact that Iran continues to be the largest state sponsor of terrorism spending billions of dollars every year funding their terrorist proxies and proxy wars all throughout the region, that’s ridiculous. And the fact that the [Obama administration] would do anything to assist this region, whether it was flying those pallets of cash to Iran or unfreezing billions of dollars or signing this JCPOA it was just all very short-sighted,” said Leib.
Leib celebrates the fact that opposition to reentry into the 2015 JCPOA is garnering bipartisan support in Congress, with many Democrats and Republicans recognizing “that the JCPOA was a bad deal from the start” and with more of a focus being placed on Iran’s human rights violations.
However, even with seeming support from both sides of the political aisle, the Biden administration appears determined to negotiate with the regime, with the reason remaining unclear; although, Leib has his own speculations.
Earlier this week, IAL was contacted by several Iranian Americans who advised the organization to take a look at the Biden campaign’s top sponsors, published on the Biden-Kamala campaign website.
Confirmed by The Foreign Desk and second on the list of individual sponsors who have donated $100,000 or more to the Biden campaign is Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), an organization that supports U.S. reentry into the JCPOA.
“It is very interesting to see, and it’s very interesting to see what NIAC has been doing as well over the last couple weeks and how they’re launching petitions and getting their community involved to help push the Biden administration to getting back into the JCPOA. So you know, there’s a lot of things that are happening, and I think we need to be laser-focused as a community in terms of who is really driving this agenda to come back into the JCPOA,” said Leib.
To watch the podcast in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTQoyLEHMM4