RNA - Hamid Baeidinejad was reacting to Reuters’ claims on Monday that “about 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started on November 15.”
The report, which was outright rejected by Iran, was soon cited by US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, who urged action against the Islamic Republic.
It was also retweeted and dramatized feverishly by sources close to the MKO itself.
In mid-November, a series of protests broke out in several Iranian cities against a government decision to increase fuel prices. The initially peaceful gatherings, however, descended into violence as riotous elements — many of them armed — infiltrated the protests, perpetrating acts of vandalism against public and private property and randomly opening fire at everyone on the scene.
Authorities have reported fatalities among both civilians and security forces, but are yet to release an official figure on the number of casualties.
Reuters’ report surfaced over a week after the MKO’s ringleader posted a tweet, producing exactly the same figure as the alleged fatality count.
Over 1,500 killed in the Iranian people’s nationwide uprising, This shocking crime is undoubtedly one of the most horrific crimes of the 21st century and by any measure amounts to a manifest case of crimes against humanity #Iranhttps://t.co/pT8KZoHNkr pic.twitter.com/1yNfpdRBYu
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) December 15, 2019
Hundreds of arrests have been made in connection with the riots. Authorities say many of the detainees were found to have links to the MKO.
The MKO has a dark history of assassinations and bombings against the Iranian government officials and civilians. It notoriously sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s 1980-88’s war against Iran.
Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the 1979 victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to the MKO’s acts of terror. Western countries, with the US topping the list, have removed the group from their terror blacklists.
The group throws lavish conferences every year in Paris, featuring American, Western, and Saudi officials as its guests of honor.
Further in his chain of tweets, Baeidinejad suggested that Reuters had resorted to an old policy of dramatizing “a lie to try to make it sound plausible” by attempting to link the “crackdown” to an “order” directly issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
This is while Ayatollah Khamenei has made “tolerance” an imperative in dealing with protesters, he added.
The envoy said the agency’s alleged fatality figure even far exceeded the "hyped up figure" of 304 provided by Amnesty International.
The ambassador also exclaimed at Reuters' claim that a staggering 400 women had been killed in the riots, explaining that the protests had witnessed a relatively low female turnout.
Baeidinejad added that Reuters’ permit had been rescinded by Iran years ago over the news agency’s “policy of manufacturing reports and generating lies,” noting that the agency’s lack of reporters on the ground and access to first-hand information effectually throws its entire account into question.
Unfortunately, the agency — which was sold by its British owner to “a Zionist Canadian entity — “has over the recent years been pursuing a policy predicated on prejudgment and lies against Iran and the regional resistance movement,” the ambassador stated.
As a case in point, he cited an earlier report, which alleged that a high-level security meeting had been convened in Iran to decide on a potential attack on Saudi oil facilities.
He said a United Nations report proved those allegations to be wrong.
Baeidinejad said the agency’s approach well reflected remarks made by “the owner of the Zionist media empire Rupert Murdock, who declared years ago that Jewish-owned media outlets across the world had a duty to support Israel.”
“It comes as no surprise that today, the Canadian Zionist owner of Reuters’ top priority lies in providing support for the Israeli regime,” he added.
The official noted that relevant authorities in Iran would, pending conclusion of their investigations, produce an exact casualty count that had resulted from the violence in November.
He asserted that the figure was far lower than those provided by foreign sources, urging all news outlets and media organizations to act responsibility by refusing to misinform the public before the official figure was released.