Intel. minister sheds light on 'hybrid warfare' against Iran amid recent riots
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Nov 10, 2022
Tehran, IRNA -- Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib has shed light on the recent riots in Iran, blaming the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Israel for waging "hybrid warfare" against the Iranian nation, and supporting unrests in the Islamic Republic.
In an interview with Khamenei.ir, the official website of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the minister explained that how enemies had made plans, even before the riots began, to create insecurity and how they exploited the protests that began over the death of young woman Mahsa Amini.
Khatib elaborated on the roles the Zionist regime, the UK and Saudi Arabia as well as the US played in fomenting unrest in Iran.
Here's the full text of the interview:
From the start of recent unrest in Iran, Imam Khamenei has referred to the fact that the enemy has been scheming from months ago to create riots and unrest in the country. In his statements in the Imam Hassan al-Mujtaba (pbuh) Academy for Officer and Police Training on October 3, 2022 and also in his meeting with a number of students on November 2, 2022, the Leader asked the people to refer to the statements of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization in order to understand more precisely the enemy's main plan in the recent unrest. For a more precise analysis of what has been going on behind the scenes of the recent unrest from a security point of view, Khamenei.ir conducted an interview with the Minister of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic, Hujjat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen Esmail Khatib.
--In his recent statements in the Imam Hassan al-Mujtaba (pbuh) Academy for Officer and Police Training, the Leader of the Revolution stated, "Since a long time ago, the enemy had been planning to create insecurity and unrest in the country in the beginning of the month of Mehr (late September) this year." This statement was based on a series of signs and evidence. What evidence from beforehand was this proposition based on? And what was the Ministry of Intelligence's prediction about the situation that would arise this fall?
**We had received many reports about intelligence officers making contact with various counter-revolutionary groups, a number of traitors inside the country, illegal trade unions, even some training programs that were being conducted under the guise of tours for tourists, and civil and legal training given to Iranians abroad. We knew about the types of things that were being requested from the agents and mercenaries in these meetings and training sessions.
The counter-revolutionaries and the enemy's intelligence services do not have the ability to create a crisis or widespread chaos. They are usually waiting for an opportunity to strike. Therefore, it was expected that they would take certain measures in late September.
Unfortunately, a girl from our country passed away. The matter was investigated immediately. The Leader expressed his sorrow, and the president and other officials issued orders for inquiries to be made. The enemies were definitely not upset about the death of this girl or any other citizen for that matter. Rather, they used this as an excuse to begin their operations and show their enmity.
In the first few days, a part of society was upset by this incident and wanted various aspects of the issue to be addressed and clarified. Because of their feelings and emotions, they voiced their concerns and objections. The authorities listened to them and followed the issue up more seriously so that the matter would become completely clear. However, the developments and actions that followed revealed that the intelligence information that we had and the assessments that we had made earlier about the efforts of spy agencies to activate riot networks inside the country were correct.
The US has always sought to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran, both during the course of the victory of the Islamic Revolution and after it. This is not a matter that needs to be analyzed or proven. The historical evidence of the past 43 years alongside the admissions of US officials regarding their conspiracies against the Islamic Republic of Iran are enough to prove this fact. The massive amount of historical evidence that shows the US's hostility toward the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the widely published documents of the United States' scheming against the Islamic Republic of Iran, are indicative of the US's animosity. Some people knowingly and with evil intentions, and other people unknowingly, have spoken about the existence of an illusion of conspiracy. But with all the evidence, documents, and clear confessions of American officials, this is actually an undeniable fact. This proposition has been repeated many times in the writings and statements of American strategists that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a religious-Islamic, democratic model, has great potential to awaken the Muslim nations and mobilize them against the West, and so this model must fail. As an example, we can refer to the words and writings of Graham Fuller. As a member of the CIA, he had spent many years of his life in countries in the Middle East, and he claims that he knows Iran.
--The Leader of the Revolution clearly emphasized that this scheming was carried out by American and Israeli spy agencies. How and in what sequence did the network of those who directed the riots and unrest ultimately reach to the foreign security agencies?
**There are usually several layers of intermediaries between the elements in the field and the intelligence officers of foreign spy agencies. But since the enemies acted hastily, we were able to reach the foreign intelligence officers directly before the riots started and arrest a number of them. The foreign intelligence agents of the French DGSE attempted to contact and train illegal union centers in order to create protest movements and unrest. All their meetings, calls, and communications have been documented and these spies will face the consequences of their actions.
The enemy used "hybrid warfare" in the recent riots. Some of the most important pillars and platforms used in hybrid warfare is the internet and the foreign social media outlets, especially the American ones. These networks play a vital role at the core of hybrid warfare.
Without a doubt, the greatest influence operation carried out on a country in order to destabilize it and create riots in it based on the hybrid warfare model as the driving factor for cognitive warfare, was the one that began a few months before the recent unrest, during the unrest, and now, in this period after the unrest. This was initiated by - in the words of Imam Khamenei - the mafia regime of the United States and its allies, such as the evil [government of] England, the child-killing Zionist regime, and the Saudi milking cow.
In its organization and implementation, the Zionist regime's role was more obvious. In terms of propaganda, England's role was clearer. In the expenditures that were made, Saudi Arabia's role was evident. All of the financial support that was provided for that degenerate show in Berlin where the monarchists, the MKO, the separatists, and sexually disoriented groups had gathered, was at the expense of the primitive Saudi Arabian regime. They paid for the propaganda, the preparations, audio and video coverage, the rental of advanced equipment for aerial videography of the gathering, facilities for the large number of journalists attending, and for the distribution of food, etc. We have evidence for this claim.
--Tell us about the network for implementing this program inside the country. Who were the people involved in this network and who were their leaders? How did they form their network and recruit their agents? To what extent did security agencies have control of this network and its activities?
**These networks usually have a director or someone who gives the orders, a financial supporter, and a number of agents who execute the commands. The directors of these networks include the US, the UK, and the Zionist regime, who are trying to engage in cognitive warfare against the Iranian nation using the media and cyberspace. This is because they don't have direct access to the Iranian people and they are unable to directly influence them. Unfortunately, the main financial support for these networks is provided by Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, special attention needs to be given to the role of the Persian language London-Saudi media, which we have labeled the "non-media." They started guiding the operations. We have information that the enemy's spy agencies gave them on-the-spot news and images, and these networks guided the rioters. In this approach, the role of the London-Saudi-American trio (BBC Persian, Saudi International, and Manoto) were more predominant than the rest.
Apart from the aspect of security, if we consider the issues of the media and propaganda, there was a strange coordination between both Persian and non-Persian foreign media outlets in covering these riots. Does the Ministry of Intelligence have knowledge and information in this regard about the people or groups behind the scenes who were coordinating the media and propaganda outlets? At times they were also bringing foreign cultural and media figures to the forefront for this issue.
These riots are taking place more in the media and cyberspace than actually being a symbol of public protest or the occurrence of problems on the streets. That is why we are calling it "the greatest influence operation." As I said in my answer to the previous question, the role that satellites and the social media are playing is greater than ever before and far from common media standards.
In addition to the control of satellite networks by intelligence agencies, there are numerous reports of the activities of various counter-revolutionary groups in the media, which carry out their activities under the direction of hostile intelligence agencies. The most significant of these has been the direct intervention of the United States in coordinating some counter-revolutionary terrorist groups with the Iran International network, which in practice has formed the International Terrorist Organization. In some cases, the Zionist regime has also communicated with and guided some members of terrorist groups.
Making use of patterns of rebellion in the social media, infiltrating trade unions and social classes, and influencing celebrities are parts of the enemy's plan in directing the media.
The extent of the intelligence agencies' interference is such that, in addition to changing the usual workings of social media software, not only have they disrupted the extent of publication and the free flow of information, they have also hindered the activities of non-aligned elements with threats and pressure.
--According to the statements of the Leader of the Revolution, the US, England, and Saudi Arabia played an obvious role in fueling the recent unrest in the country. What plans do the security agencies and Ministry of Intelligence have to compensate for these attempts being made to disrupt security?
**We are faced with a number of players. We know where the Zionist regime stands. That regime has carried out some hostile activities so far [which they have proclaimed loudly] and have received some severe responses in return [which they have covered up as much as they could]. They will continue to receive the same from now on. .
As for the US regime, in addition to all the hostilities, damages and blows that it has directly and indirectly inflicted upon the Iranian nation, this terrorist regime is the official murderer of the great leader of the Resistance, Martyr Lieutenant General Haj Qasem Soleimani. The position of the US is declining in facing a strong Iran. I say with certainty and decisively that the United States is not capable of a face-to-face military war with us. Therefore, it either joins up with a terrorist group and officially carry out assassinations [and of course receives a crushing, clear, appropriate, military response in return] or it goes behind the scenes and engages in hybrid warfare, soft warfare and starts provoking others. It has always received responses in these cases and it will continue to receive the same.
As for England, their case as a country that takes the approach of a wily old fox that has never stopped its troublemaking against the Islamic Republic of Iran is different. Currently, the media in England is seeking to create and spread riots in Iran. Both in the past and in the present, their media outlets have stepped beyond the field of directing riots and are seeking to organize malicious movements and acts of terrorism inside the country. These are actions that England has taken. In the past, Iran has repeatedly been a prevention to acts of terrorism against European countries. However, England and a number of European countries have not stopped their hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Without a doubt, unlike England, we will never support acts of terrorism and the creation of insecurity in other countries. However, we also have no obligation to prevent insecurity in these countries either. Therefore, England will pay for the actions it has taken to try to make the great country of Iran insecure.
Unfortunately, the British government, which operates the BBC and Iran International satellite stations with its support and within its media framework, has taken on a terrorist role today. And this means they are crossing the red line of the Islamic Republic of Iran's security. I would like to state here that the Iran International satellite network is recognized by Iran's security agency as a terrorist organization. Its operatives and affiliates will be pursued by the Ministry of Intelligence. And from now on, any kind of connection with this terrorist organization will be considered to be tantamount to entering into terrorism and a threat to the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
As for the case of Saudi Arabia, I would like to state that our fate and the fate of other counties in the region are tied together because of our situation as neighboring countries. In Iran's opinion, any instability in the countries of the region is contagious, and any sort of instability in Iran can also spread to other countries in the region. Distant countries make the region unstable. Stones being thrown at a powerful Iran by countries that sit in [fragile] glass houses have no meaning other than them crossing the borders of rationality into the darkness of stupidity.
The scheme that they designed for insecurity in the country was definitely more widespread than what actually took place. In other words, a significant, major part of this program was thwarted by security organizations. Please tell us a bit about the other funds that had been prepared to increase insecurity in the country and also the extent of control that security organizations had over this.
If we want to talk about the primary goal of our main enemies, we can say that the enemy is clearly pursuing the "destruction project" of Iran, in exact accordance with the model they implemented in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen. But they have not been able to carry this out, and they will never be able to implement such a plan in our "strong Iran" for "the sturdy tree of the Islamic Revolution." At least since the beginning of this year, the enemy has made extensive efforts to create insecurity in the country at different times, such as on Teacher's Day, at the time of the implementation of individual subsidies, and on Hijab and Chastity Day. The attacks on numerous terrorist teams on the country's borders or across the border, as well as the neutralization of a bombing attempt in one of Isfahan's aviation companies are clear examples of this. During the riots, according to the latest statistics, nearly 100 people who were affiliated with the MEK [terrorist organization] and over 150 people who were affiliated with Kurdish and other terrorist groups have been arrested.
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