Iranian regime officials and state outlets are continuing to voice concerns over the effect of the January 27 disruption of state television and radio networks for 10 seconds that resulted in the airing of footage of Iranian opposition leaders. Regime officials understand very well the lasting impact of such a development on Iran’s society kept under decades of censorship and claims by state media about there being no viable opposition or alternative to the regime.
“Following the attack targeting the state TV and radio network, we expected to see the relevant security apparatus to respond and publish details regarding the source of this attack and how it transpired. This includes the Strategic Management Center associated with the Presidency. This entity is tasked to determine the source of the attack and provide information in this regard,” according to a piece published on February 1 in the state-run Eghtesad Online website. “Our follow-ups with this center have been fruitless to this day and their last response was: ‘Our colleagues have been there since the very first moment of this attack. However, we have nothing to publish as of yet.’ More than five days have passed since the attack, and to this day there have been no reports to shed more light on this matter,” the piece adds.
“This measure by the [Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)] in disrupting state TV broadcasting will not go unanswered. We need to deliver a firm response to the [PMOI/MEK],” said Alireza Salimi, a member of the regime’s Majlis (parliament).
Many TV and radio stations of Iran’s state broadcasting network were disrupted at 3:00 pm local time on Thursday, January 27, airing footage of Iranian Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The disrupted sequence also aired visual and at times audio slogans of “Death to Khamenei!” in a reference to regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and “Viva Rajavi!” again referring to the Iranian opposition leaders. A crossed-out image of Khamenei was also shown on numerous state TV networks.
Based on the latest report, many of the regime’s state TV and radio networks continue to suffer from severe damages and are unable to provide all their broadcasting features.
According to a statement released on January 31 by the PMOI/MEK, hundreds of national radio channels, provincial and local TV stations were severely disrupted and their audio, video, or transmission was cut off. Furthermore, control sheets show more than 2,000 ‘critical’ warnings on regime radio and TV stations.”
The “comprehensive monitoring” system for the “Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)” clearly shows that as of Thursday afternoon, January 27, 2022, the uplink feed from 25 national television channels on Intelsat and 20 national television channels on Badr satellites were completely shut off. Hundreds of national radio stations, provincial and local city television stations were also on “critical alert” status and on the verge of shutting down.
It is well known that the IRIB is one of the most heavily budgeted and highly sensitive organizations for the clerical regime, and the regime utilizes this organization alongside the IRGC, the intelligence services, and the State Security Force for suppression and censorship. The organization also serves to export fundamentalism and spread terrorism abroad alongside the Quds Force.
The mullahs’ regime respond by launching a series of DDOS attacks targeting various Iranian Resistance outlets. Tehran has been on a drive to bring down the websites of the Iranian Resistance. Targets include the main websites of the PMOI/MEK, the NCRI, and Maryam Rajavi.
The regime’s own experts described the January 27 disruption as a complicated and multi-pronged attack that involved sophisticated technology and human element on the ground because the IRIB operates in a highly insulated and closed intranet system, and extremely difficult, if not altogether impossible to penetrate from the outside.
But more important is the impact that the disruption has had on the regime’s propaganda apparatus. For a brief time, the channels that had spewed state propaganda for four decades broadcast the image and message of hope to millions of Iranians who want regime change. The incident was by the people of Iran, who are regularly chanting slogans against the regime’s state-run broadcaster in their protests, widely cheered and welcomed the disruption.
The frenzied attempts to shut down the websites of the Iranian Resistance are further proof to the regime’s fragile state and its fear of the Iranian opposition and its leaders.
“There need to be significant measures taken to immunize the IRIB apparatus. [Thursday’s] incident in the IRIB was truly unfortunate and raises grave concerns. I am calling on IRIB officials across the country, and in our province, to take more action for our security so we’re not embarrassed in such a way,” said the Friday prayer leader in the city of Tabriz, northwest Iran.
“What happened needs to be evaluated. There need to be precise and preventive measures taken, and if there was infiltration in this regard and other similar cases, firm action is needed,” said the Friday prayer leader in the city of Khorramabad, western Iran.
A growing number of regime officials are expressing grave concerns about infiltration among their ranks and files, shedding light on the regime’s very fragile apparatus and the growing hatred among the Iranian people who take advantage of every opportunity to deliver such extraordinary blows to the mullahs’ rule. This, of course, comes just weeks after the recent January 5 torching of a statue built to commemorate the regime’s terror mastermind Qassem Soleimani.