Tehran (IP) - A look at the performance of the London Based Persian-language TV channel "Iran International" in the way it covers the recent riots in Iran indicates that this media is acting as the mastermind of the riots under the pretext of protecting issues related to Mehsa Amini's death.

Iran PressIran news: Now, the critical question is whether it is possible in a scientific and research context to analyze the components and indicators of the performance of  Iran International TV in the way of covering and directing unrests by using keywords, news literature, policy-making, how to guide interviewees by posing directional questions within a pre-planned scenario to convince the public and the audience?

By examining the headlines of the news published on Iran International, one can find keywords that provide a specific meaning each time:

"The spread of Iranian people's protests in the streets despite the suppression campaign of the Islamic Republic (Saturday, 2nd Mehr)", "Increasing global solidarity with Iranian protesters and intensifying pressure against the censorship campaign of the Islamic Republic (2nd Mehr)".

Headlines like this can often be seen in the news sections of Iran Internationa. This TV network tries to convey this message to the audience that what is happening in Iran has also been accompanied by reactions in the international arena and by raising positions of some well-known domestic and international organizations or personalities have given the audience a post regarding the Iranian government's response to the riots, and indirectly conveying this message to the rioters that destroying public property, creating panic, attacking the police forces, is legitimate.

In the meantime, a research study of the functioning of the Iran International network from the perspective of communication theories and theoreticians of this field can well show that this network covers everything that is more than just within the framework of a neutral media.

With a specific scenario, it is seeking to guide the unrests inside and create sensitivity at the international level for questioning the inherent performance of the Iranian government in dealing with the unrests and protests against national security and calm in the society, in addition to depicting the rioters as heroes and of course the justification of vandalism for the destruction of public property and creating panic in the community.

Every government has always been sensitive to the demands of its society, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is no exception to this rule, even if people protest and criticize mismanagement in dealing with social, economic, or political issues naturally, the legal solutions are also foreseen, but if any criticism and protesters supposed to lead to disturbance and destruction and burning of state property.

Even most western governments that speak of democracy, freedom of expression, and respect for human rights will not tolerate the unrests where there are many examples of violent behavior of Western governments toward social demands.

In the following, using the theories of communication and theoreticians of this field, the performance of this network in covering unrests will be reviewed.

1- Haenlein (2012)/Williams (2016) with "the theory of social networks in the virtual world, opportunities and threats" refers to the components of "tendency to riots" and the indicators of demonstrating, chanting, and writings on the subject of various slogans refer to damage and burning of public property by the rioters.

A look at the performance of Iran International shows that this network, with the calculated use and guidance of experts, has exactly encouraged rioters to damage and set fire to public property by widely reflecting the vandalism and destruction of police vehicles, banks, and attacks with state organizations, including the governorates of various cities, seek to guide the rioters to continue vandalism.

At the same time, the widespread coverage of insults to the senior officials and the burning of pictures of high-ranking officials and the broadcasting of these insults, the burning of the flag, and insulting the sanctities in different news sections are done precisely according to the plan, and at the same time, some internal figures are playing in the court of anti-Iran media by giving interviews in which rioters incite further destruction or some domestic and international artists and cinematographers in their discussions without knowing the intention of the presenter's targeted questions are trapped within this calculated scenario.

2- Antonio Casilli, Paula Tubaro (2012)/Castells (2013), with the theory of "Social media censorship in times of political unrest," put forward the components of "broadcasting false news and rumors in cyberspace" and indicators such as presenting false, unreal news, spreading rumors, comparing previous conditions with current conditions.

Examining the performance of Iran International and the platforms of this network in virtual space, such as Twitter and Telegram, in presenting false and unreal news is entirely consistent with the components of this theory.

On September 25, Iran International announced in breaking news that was broadcast many times with subtitles in different news sections and at other hours of the day and night: "The Fars news agency confirmed the authenticity of the images exposed in Iran International from the CT scan of Mahsa Amini," but in the analysis of the text of the Fars news agency, there are these phrases:

"Although at first it was thought that these images were fake like many news of this Saudi media, Fars reporter's follow-up with the relevant authorities showed that the CT scan images published are related to Mahsa Amini" (September 25).

From this point of view, Fars has confirmed that the scans belong to Mahsa Amini. Still, the moment that Iran International has never mentioned is the fact that even though these scans belong to Mahsa Amini, there are no signs of beating or damage to her skull is not visible in it. The Fars news agency also mentioned this fact in its news:

"To scientifically investigate this issue, we talked to several neurologists and radiologists to scientifically investigate this issue. These experts believe that the hospital's CT scans show no evidence of head trauma or bleeding in these images. A neurosurgeon specialist told our reporter: Investigations show that the patient had surgery in the head area in the past, but based on the evidence from the CT scan, it is not possible to know that the surgery was precisely a few years ago. There is also evidence of a previous frontotemporal craniotomy with brief muscle atrophy and soft tissue changes in the patient's surgical site.

3- Allison et al.(2007)/ Croteau and Hoynes (2013) presented the theory of "Benefits of Facebook "Friends:" Social Capital" to examine the components of "persuasive messages" and indicators of encouragement to defend the rights, the incentive for gathering, destruction of state property, etc. to analyze social behaviors in demonstrations and protests.

Pay attention to the headline of the Iran International website on September 26:

"Continuation of Iranian people's protests; "The security forces had to flee in many scenes." The title "Escape of Security Forces" was chosen, and it somehow conveys the message to rioters that resistance and harsh treatment of security forces will cause them to "escape."

Or this sentence in the text of the same news: "A video published on social media shows that it claims that "the security forces were forced to retreat after the protesters tried to enter a military barracks."

The keywords "entry" and "withdrawal," while encouraging attacks on law enforcement and governance institutions, also convey that attacks on security forces will cause them to retreat.

4- Elsum  (2012) / Castells (2013) / Gaffni (2010) / Fox (2012) presented the theory of "Iran's strategies towards virtual social networks" and components such as "propaganda of national and international support for protesters" with indicators such as promoting the vocal support of the leaders of other countries, global praise for the protesters, the promise of support from other countries, etc.

News with these themes can be found in the productions of Iran International: "Expansion of global support for Iran's protests and women frontrunner in campaigns" (Sunday), "The wave of global support for the Iranian people's protests against the killing of Mahsa Amini is intensifying."  Iran International, with calculated use of the positions of international personalities and institutions, seeks to excite and persuade the audience against the system and the continuation of unrest. This strategy is evident in many of the news sections of this network, which is shown by interviews with international officials or internal figures asking pre-planned questions to obtain keywords to legitimize riots.

5- Castells (2013) / Croteau and Hoynes (2011) / Castells (2009), in the theory of "the role of virtual social networks in revolutions and movements," components such as "magnification and globalizing protests" examines the manifestation of demonstrations, the spread of demonstrations, etc. with national indicators. A look at the news of Iran International also makes this strategy more objective.

6- Antonio Casilli, Paula Tubaro (2012) / Borgatti and Halgin with the theory of "theorizing social networks and unrests" to the components of "inducing the existence of widespread corruption in the country" and the indicators of widespread embezzlement by officials, inducing a daily increase in bribery.

This theory has been used in examining the function of Iran's International network in producing content to question officials' competence. An honest view of the tasks and strategies of the Iran International TV network from the perspective of communication theories by presenting examples of news and productions of this network reveals the fact that this network is looking for specific goals and directing unrest by using intersected images, keywords, and directional propositions are among the strategies that this network has put on the agenda, along with legitimizing vandalism, creating panic, oppressing rioters, and showing the violence of police forces.

Now the question is whether this network can be considered a reliable source to receive and know what is happening in Iran, or the audience will fall into the trap of news productions and calculated projections of this network and get involved unintentionally in a calculated scenario.

A little familiarity with this network's psychological operations reveals its operators' sinister intentions.


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