Benjamin Disraeli famously said “There are three kinds of lies – lies, damn lies and statistics.” The Iranian regime are past masters at all three. Last week, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, Tehran's information and communications technology minister, tweeted a picture of a silver spaceman’s outfit with the words: 'astronaut costume #brightfuture'. But social media users instantly accused him of flaunting an American child's Halloween fancy-dress costume, which can be bought on Amazon for $30. The minister had simply torn off the NASA badges on the American toy spacesuit and replaced them with the flag of the Islamic Republic. Closer inspection of the spacesuit even revealed the faint outline where the NASA logos had been removed.

This brainless deception became even more farcical when it was announced that an attempt to send a Simorgh or ‘Phoenix’ rocket carrying a Zafar 1 communications satellite into space had failed. The attempted launch at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran's Semnan province, some 145 miles southeast of Tehran, ended in disaster when the rocket blew up on the launch pad. Undeterred, the Defence Ministry space programme spokesman Ahmad Hosseini said: 'Stage-1 and stage-2 motors of the carrier functioned properly and the satellite was successfully detached from its carrier, but at the end of its path it did not reach the required speed for being put into orbit.' Incredibly, Hosseini went on to describe the disaster as a 'remarkable' achievement for its space programme! It certainly was a remarkable achievement. The Iranian regime has become an international laughing stock.

The theocratic regime’s history of deception dates back to its very foundation following the 1979 revolution which brought the primeval, bearded psychopath, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to power. His first great lie to the Iranian people was that he was God’s representative on earth, supervising the introduction of a constitution based on ‘Velayat-e-faqih’ (the absolute rule of the clergy) and an aspiration to create a worldwide Islamic caliphate. Overnight he gave birth to Islamic fundamentalism, declaring that anyone who challenged his authority would be guilty of ‘moharebeh’ or waging war against God. This fictitious edict has been used ruthlessly for the past 41 years to systematically murder tens of thousands of the regime’s opponents, most notably supporters of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran/ Mojahedin-e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK), who advocate a secular government, democratic elections and universal suffrage in direct opposition to the fascist repression of the mullahs. 

Infuriated by their stance against him, Ayatollah Khomeini ordered a brutal and bloody crackdown on members, supporters and sympathisers of the PMOI/MEK in what has been described as the “reign of terror”. According to a decree by Khomeini, “the Mojahedin of Iran are infidels and worse than blasphemers… They have no right to life.”  Since then, the PMOI/MEK have been the principal victims of human rights violations and systematic annihilation in Iran and they are a key target for demonization and assassination abroad. Over the past four decades, 120,000 of its members and supporters have been executed. Dozens more have been assassinated outside of Iran. The execution, imprisonment and torture of PMOI members, supporters and their families continue unabated to this day. In the summer of 1988 the summary execution of more than 30,000 political prisoners in Iran took place, in an atrocity that surely must rank as one of the most horrific crimes against humanity of the late twentieth century. The vast majority of the victims were activists of the PMOI/MEK. The mass executions, in jails across Iran, were carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. Needless to say, following their long history of lies and deception, all of these murders and assassinations are routinely denied.

The catalogue of duplicities and deceits is a long one. The mullahs falsely claimed that the PMOI/MEK had supported Saddam Hussein and had conspired with him to attack the Iraqi Kurds. They claimed they were terrorists and persuaded the West, in a wretched act of appeasement, to add them to their terrorist blacklists in the 1990s. It took lengthy court hearings in London, Luxembourg and Washington DC to blow the whistle on these fabrications and lead to the de-listing of the PMOI/MEK. The mullahs then resorted to brutal attacks on camps in Iraq where thousands of PMOI/MEK opponents of the Iranian regime had sought refuge. Repeated massacres took place, where Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commandos, the regime’s Gestapo, even dressed up in Iraqi military uniforms to exterminate the defenceless civilians. Repeated attacks on Camps Ashraf and Liberty left hundreds dead and over a thousand injured. The Iranian regime denied any involvement.

More recently, their mendacity has reached new heights of incredulity. In 2018, an Iranian diplomat from their embassy in Vienna was arrested on terrorist charges after being caught handing over a 500 gm bomb to two Iranian ‘sleepers’, ordering them to detonate it at a huge opposition rally in Paris. Confronted by this appalling conspiracy as he flew to Vienna, no doubt to congratulate his bomber, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran, immediately denied all knowledge of the plot, claiming it was a “false flag” attempt to smear his government. Similar denials of involvement and protests of innocence followed the expulsion of the Iranian Ambassador and First Secretary from Albania on terrorist charges.

The highpoint of the regime’s flagrant dishonesty was surely reached when they lied about shooting down the Ukrainian airliner with the loss of 176 lives. They maintained this horrible deception for days, until it became so blatantly obvious from filmed evidence that they had been responsible that Ayatollah Khamenei himself had to order a climbdown and the truth finally emerged. No-one should have been surprised at this news, as the mullah’s propaganda machine had for months been churning out denials about blowing up oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, or firing missiles at Saudi oil installations. 

With such a rich history of double-dealing and duplicity, the 80 million angry and oppressed citizens of Iran can expect fake results from the sham parliamentary elections to be held on 21stFebruary, where already only hand-picked candidates loyal to Khamenei will be allowed to stand. Phoney spacesuits and crashing satellites are the least of their worries! Sensible Iranians should boycott these bogus polls.