Sunday, January 27, 2013

The "Cyber Basij"--Iran


By: Jabbar Fazeli, MD

Before the proponents of the regime accuse me of "name calling" I would like to say that the phrase "Cyber Basij" is a paraphrase derived straight from the Iranian government officials' statements such as the one made by Gen. Fazli (no relation) in 2011.

                       Brig General Ali Fazli, deputy commander of Iran’s Basij Forces, said in an interview on March 13, 2011 with "Mehr News" that Basij hackers were behind cyber attacks against “Enemies of the Islamic Revolution.” He added, “The approach of Basij is to fight soft wars…[and] organize a "cyber army" of tens of millions (4).

Iran's pseudo-government, the military of the Islamic Republic (the IRGC and the Basij), has set up a "Cyber Defense Command" that directs a complex propaganda operation coupled with media censorship and "cyber police" crackdown.

Below is the breakdown of the various elements of the regime's disinformation machinery:

- Jamming of foreign satellite news broadcasts during peak news events in Iran.
The BBC-Persian has been complaining about this for years and there has been a lot of discussion, even inside the Iranian government, about the health side effects of using jamming waves in populated areas (9,10).

- Using "media courts" to dissuade print media from publishing unflattering political, economic, and social news. I'm not including any links on this item as the examples of newspaper closures and journalist arrests are too numerous to cite.

- Internet censorship and blocking of social networks like Facebook and twitter, foreign based news outlets, as well as the blocking of websites critical of the regime (This blog site is proud to be one of the blocked sites in Iran since ~October of 2012).

It is note worthy that the IRGC is now the majority shareholder of Iran's telecommunication monopoly, and in effect has near total ability to monitor and control cell phones, SMS, and the Internet (13).

- Creating a "Cyber Police" unit, know as FATA (11), charged with arresting cyber activists who test the regime's unwritten slogan of "You are free to say and write whatever you like and we are free to arrest you".

There are reports that the IRGC has a dedicated wing, Ward 2-A, in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran to house those arrested for subversive cyber activity (5). There is at least one documented unlawful death of a blogger in this cyber police prison ward (6); The IRI judiciary has not rushed to "hang" anyone for that particular crime.

-The IRGC "media war" operation extends to directing the propaganda message through cinema and State TV to "shape" public opinion (12).

Kill the messenger tactic:

The "Cyber Basij" has recently embarked on a Comprehensive efforts to discredit and silence exiled journalists. These efforts have included:

- Applying pressure on the families of exiled journalists to encourage self censorship.

- Publishing False media reports and character assassination of journalists. The BBC-Persian journalists were recently the subject of a fabricated report by the temple of truth, "Fars news", claiming that the BBC reporters engage in partner sex swaps (2). To give the report credibility these stories were then made subject of pro-government blog analysis (3). The blog analysis was actually quite sophisticated; In this instance the gist of the blog piece was that the Iranian media is failing to counter the "western propaganda" despite the BBC-Persian journalists' "sex scandals", so technically the blog was "critical" of the government media while spreading the regime lies about the BBC-Persian journalists.

- Creating mirror website of major news media such as www.persianbbc.ir (www.BBCpersian.ir was an earlier version which is now suspended), and http://www.radiodirooz.com, and creating fake blog sites and Facebook pages impersonating foreign based Iranian journalists targeted for character assassination (2). The "Cyber Basij" uses these site to post fake quotes and reports then uses the quotes in mainstream Iranian media. Most of these fake sites have since been suspended by the servers.
This is the Fake (Iranian) Cyber basij BBC site with today's regime friendly titles 

The authentic BBC-Persian website with no regime friendly titles

Use of "Cyber Basij" commentators to spin the news and defend the Iranian regime:

It appears that the IR has deployed a wide array of commentators who make appearances on news and blog sites. They mirror the BBC-Persian service callers who use the "viewer participation" component of the BBC programs to make the argument for the regime and try to spin the news as best they can as "individuals" with a different view.

Judging by our own experience with the "Cyber Basij" commentators they can be divided into the following categories:

- The lowest tier commentators tend to repeat copy-pasted slogans and stick to a core message regardless of the subject matter. This category is characterized by the inability, or unwillingness, to follow the points in the conversation, and are experts at changing every subject into "Zionist" or "imperialist" something. The supposed country of origin and style can vary, but most of us have learned to spot these characters for who they are, low paid regime agents.

- The second tier commentators are those who actually do make a cohesive pro-regime point despite the characteristic spin and going off topic. Some would on occasion try to offer a critique of the regime while at the same time defending the regime's core message and attacking its critiques.
They sometimes use words like "mullahs" or nationalistic language to disguise their pro-regime message. On occasion they would adhere to a consistent anti-government line on a couple of unimportant issues to give themselves some credibility.

-The third tier commentators appear to be "mercenaries" who are notable for their better English and their "role playing" as they pretend to be western or impartial as they indirectly argue the regime's message, or try to discredit anti-regime bloggers and commentators without actually having any valid reasons. These commentators are skillful at rearranging "facts" in favor of the IR. They also tend to get angry and desperate when they are unable to get away with it, I assume it is because their compensation is linked to their performance.

One thing that all tiers of "Cyber Basij" commentators have in common is that their comments are rarely short or to the point, and they love turning the discussion into a tangent discussion about the west or the writers. The rule of the thumb is to not fall for the tangent off topic discussions and not take their personal attacks personally, after-all they're only doing their job.


We should not be dismissive of the fact that there are some out there who do have a legitimate pro-regime view of the world. Most such commentators don't tend to fight to the death defending the regime's core message or embark on coordinated personal attacks, or write lengthy slogan filled comments.

I can't help but have some respect for the true believers of the Islamic Republic, especially those using their real names and sticking their necks out defending an unpopular regime.

To the true "Cyber Basij" I say hats off and keep up the good work, Joseph Goebbels (1) has nothing on you!


(1) http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERgoebbels.htm
(2) http://www.roozonline.com/persian/news/newsitem/article/-4a02d55ebc.html
(3) http://www.freezepage.com/1358366389WXWNUHTMDH
(4) http://www.insideiran.org/media-analysis/commander-admits-basij-hackers-conducted-cyber-attacks/
(5) http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2011/11/allamehzadeh-nov/
(6) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/01/iran-police-sacked-blogger-death
(7) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/SatelliteJammingInIranSmallMedia.pdf
(8) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203501304577088380199787036.html
(9) http://www.icana.ir/NewsPage.aspx?NewsID=204111
(10) http://www.radiozamaneh.com/english/content/health-ministry-study-effects-interference-waves
(11) http://www.cyberpolice.ir/en
(12) http://www.ordup.com/6/401811.php
(13) http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/i/islamic_revolutionary_guard_corps/index.html

Headline Photo source: radiodirooz.com, radiofarda.com, FATA, radio.cz

53 comments:

Mark Pyruz said...

Because someone disagrees wit your opinions neither makes them a member of a Iran's national security branch of government, nor does it make them a "proponent" of that government. However, by leveling such accusations against persons that disagree with your anti-Iran views, Jabbar, you are engaging in name calling and personal attacks, which are not in accordance with the rules and guidelines of Uskowi on Iran.

Just so there's no mistake, I'll post below the rules and guidelines (which pertain to both commenting and editorial content), which as a member of the blog team, you need to both familiarize yourself with and agree to:

Uskowi on Iran encourage all of our readers to comment. Our goal is to maintain a community where readers feel free to express themselves, but we also recognize that some conversations following blog posts on this site can descend into negative sniping and personal attacks. When this happens, we reserve the right to close the comments on those pages. Comment moderation is in effect and comments are usually processed within three to six hours.

We encourage comments that:

- Are "on topic", and that respond to the content in the blog post
- Are responses to comments left by other readers
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- Might disagree with the content in the blog post, but they never insult the writer of the blog post, or other commenters

We discourage comments that:

- Are not "on topic", or are not responding to other comments or the content in the blog post
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We will delete comments, without notice, that:

- Are abusive, harassing, threatening or vulgar
- Are personal attacks, including name-calling or celebrations of another person's death or misfortune
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Now, we understand you have very hard feelings for having felt the need to leave Iran due to your objections over the form of Iran's government and its constitution. And you're free to speak openly over those objections. But you must follow site policy and and express your views toward other persons' opposing opinions in a civil manner, without resorting to name calling and personal attacks. Besides, Jabbar, you're an intelligent man. You shouldn't feel the need or compulsion to stoop to such. So there are persons that disagree with you. By having to rely on name calling and personal attacks you only serve to diminish your own personal intellectual arguments, and in so doing diminish the integrity of the site as a collective effort.

Paul Iddon said...

So following your logic I can delete all the abusive and ad-hominem off the topic comments you've made on me?

Anonymous said...

No, you got me. Best regards.

Cyber Basij foreign legion.LOL.

Anonymous said...

I believe the most active countries on earth when it comes to internet surveillance are the ones so often portrayed as free and democratic. Do you even read the news coming out of the USA? Iran is a small, small, small.... small time player compared to the likes of USA and Israel.

Anyhow, I will keep stating my opinion irregardless of what some delusional blogger residing in the USA labels me as.

Anonymous said...

Basij Cyber Police reporting in. Jabbar we're watching you, better cover that webcam with a post-it note and also close the curtains. We're everywhere... see everything. :)

Anonymous said...

This is child's play, the US military has developed software that will let it manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

Thanks MarK.
I appreciate the info, I'm sure it will come handy one day.
This conversation is best done via emails, but in the meantime it suffices to say that I welcome your dissentings views and I don't mind at all the fact that your are a proponent of the Iranian regime (based on your writings), as I'm sure you don't mind that I am an opponent of the regime.
The guidelines we have devised were never intended to silence our bloggers or force them into self censorship. We live in the USA, not the IR of Iran, and as such I am free to expose the truth as I see it, even if it upsets my BFFs.

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

@anon 8:21
Thanks for comparing Iran to the west and going on a tangent and proving my point.

Cyber surveillance and undercover police operation in the "west", as bad as it is, doesn't come with fake "Fars news" site or the arrest, and on occasion hanging, of journalists and bloggers.

If Mark ever gets arrested and send to prison in the USA for expressing his opinion then we can have this conversation. In the meantime lets see if we can cover the "cyber Basij" tactics being discussed in this piece.

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

I agree!
Compared to the Iranian fake sites, character assassination and smear campaigns against journalists, hangings, death under torture, what the US is doing is indeed child play. I assume that is what you meant.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8:25 Don't make Jabbar anymore paranoid than he already is! Hah!

Anonymous said...

Mark isn't going to get arrested for his views, and is unlikely to suffer from other than the occasional tongue-lashing, scorn and derision which his comments earn and engender by their strained and fallacious comparisons and their sometimes inane attempts at deflection.

That he would attempt to invoke cite rules for comments as a weapon to discredit an author's critique of comments is wondrous strange.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha! The Cyber Basij mozdors always are bragging about their leader Khaayehemani!

Anonymous said...

It is good that iran has good an skilled hacker
This MD Fazuel guy is a very Hasood Person
He is hasood to every thing, because he an antiranian, he can not see the progress of iran.
I am not wondering if he in his private life suffered a lot of missuccess

reader said...

As a humble reader of this blog, I think contributions from authors of opposing viewpoints can indeed enrich the content of this blog. But there is a fine line between journalism and activism. Since Amir Taheri departure, there seems to be a perceptual shift in editorial balance in favour of the regime opponents. What makes this blog so different is in its ability to pick topics and stories that really matter and resonate, both socially and politically, with the life of ordinary Iranians living inside and outside the country. May this continue – InshaAlla!

Anonymous said...

And what "progress" is that Anon 1:44 PM ?

Oh wait a minute,that "progress" you're referring too. Isn't it that new amputation machine that has been successfully rolled out and used against "criminals" or those shiny new cranes that are used for hanging "criminals"?

Wow! Fazeli must be very "hasood" of those wonderful achievements of the occupying anti Iranian Rapist regime,wouldn't you say?

Anonymous said...

There is enough propaganda spun out there by the cyber basij without having contribution by that fictional writer,Amir Taheri.

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

Thanks reader.
Is there any part of this post that you find not factual?!

I don't hide the fact that I am indeed an activist but that shouldn't necessarily be he subject of discussion when here is so much more to discuss that does affect the lives of many Iranians. I don't think discussing the cyber Basij is irrelevant to Iranians, do you?

reader said...

With respect, I find the content of your posting often factual but unnecessarily critical. I suggest you leave criticism and judgement to readers

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

Thanks again reader.
I disagree. As a blogger I have an endless latitude to offer analysis and opinion to go with the facts being posted. If I were a journalist working for a news outlet, i.e. the BBC-Persian, I would be more constrained in that regard.
Big difference!

Anonymous said...

It's not surprising that Iran has a cyber basij. The regime has obviously learnt from the state of israel, which does the same and calls it "hasbara".

Anonymous said...

welll the part about every pro-iranian commentators being on the regime payroll, most certainly isn't factual...

Anonymous said...

well, friend, if anyone had actually said that every pro-Iranian commentator was on the regime payroll, that WOULD be quite unfair.....

did you read something that actually said that?

Anonymous said...

The issue with one-dimensional Iran-hating and self-loathing exiles in general is that they live in imaginary homelands and have a strong tendency not to see reality. This Jabber fellow is on his own soap box using this blog to vent and diminish the credibility of the blog as well as pluralistic quality of discussion. They also have a hard time accepting the FACT that Iranians have matured politically and are not interested in "overthrowing" the hybrid revolutionary system that has evolved over the last 34 years, despite US/Zionist and their toadies efforts to destabilize Iran through wars, terror, sanctions, psy-op propaganda and now outright economic warfare.

Anyone who has recently spent some time in Iran will know that there is no chance of a counter-revolution in Iran. The realistic blogger Mr. Amir Taheri was posting factual reports on Iran's domestic situation when these name calling wishful delusional set forced him off as the TRUTH hurt. It is incumbent upon all rational people to articulate their viewpoints without being labelled "Cyber Basij" or whatever. The US, Zionists and the Europeans have far more propaganda and police state surveillance than Iran. In France they can't even tweet about Zionist crimes under the guise of "anti-discrimination legislation" while it is obviously OK to rant Islamophobia with impunity. The same attitude prevails amongst the like of Jabber who can't fathom reality and try to suppress it by tagging people. The double-standards and hypocricy of these anti-democratic so-called "democrats" is similar to US concern for human rights while bombing and suppressing almost half the Muslim world and running gulags like Guantanamo Bay and then criticising China, Russia and Iran for human rights issues. While it is perfectly OK for US puppets like Saudis, Persian Gulf Arab petro-pimps and the Zionist mutt to kill, torture, main and jail thousands, occupy land and disregard hundreds of UN resolutions. US terror drones alone have killed thousands of civilians and even the puppet UN now has to conduct a kangaroo inquiry into US mass drone murder. This is the fundamental issue with hypocricy and lack of credibilty.

It is time that for their own mental health they realize that even if Iranians don't agree with all aspects of mullahcracy, they still support an independent Iran and will fight to defend it regardless. Posting daily, mostly untrue "news" about the situation in Iran does not promote any good but only shows the delusional mindframe of the posters. NO IRAN IS NOT GOING TO FALL APART ANYTIME NOW OR EVER. Iran has been around for 3000 years and will go on, Cyber Basij tag not withstanding. Now let the name calling begin in ernest.LOL.

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

Thanks!
I appreciate your help.

Anonymous said...

I did read the part dividing all pro-regime comentators into three categories and claiming that all 3 are on the regime's payroll (I loved the touch about the good ones being the best paid :b)!

P.S: I do see where this is coming from, most net users have this tendency to only read and believe what they agree with (hence the first category of zionist and imperialist critics), but falling in that trap is bad whatever side your on (I'll grant you i'm kinda of sympathetic to it, and for bad reasons at that; I just like to see the states get a finger). Yet your doing the same thing just immediately associating every pro-regime with this or that type of cyber-basij, some of these commentators will have good points you should accept and include in your view of the regime.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:06 PM....So you think showing amputating devices and people dangling from cranes is not factual?

Yes,Iran has been around for over 3000 years. But what people like you fail to understand is that the barbaric regime you class as Iran is not Iran but the most anti Iran occupying regime in Iran's history.

No Iran hopefully will not fall apart but the occupying and barbarous regime will. You unfortunately seem to be the one that is delusional because your posts are getting longer and more desperately parrot like every time.

You are confusing a barbaric religious fascist regime with Iran,which shows the level of your limited IQ.

Anonymous said...

nope, your reading is defective.... it's not "all pro-regime comentators" that was critiqued but all commentators who are employed as Cyber Basij.


I think that you're making an inference to a missing assumption that two distinct groups don't merely overlap but are co-extensive.

have a care with that.

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 8:06 PM,

You posted one of the longest comments ever on this blog. Yet, you did not write a single sentence on the content of Jabbar’s article. All you did was to attack Jabbar personally, a comment that should not have been published, but nevertheless a comment that proves the basic thesis discussed by Jabbar: attacking the author, the messenger if you will, to try to divert the discussion from the content of the original post. But you are not fooling anyone. If you had anything to say, tell us about your opinion on cyber basin and their tactics, do you approve of them? If yes, why? And please don’t come back and attack me, that tactic is well known and tried before. Try to come up with something more interesting and original, namely tell us about your opinion on cyber basin. But can you do that? Is that within the guidelines?

Nader Uskowi said...

Of course by Basin, I meant Basij. No insult was intended!

Anonymous said...


yes understanding various internet protocols and finding out the weaekness in various operating system´is not easy.
so if iran can gather a group of skilled hacker, it is a great progress

and of course this MD Fazel is a natural born hassod,we need to folloow his posting

Anonymous said...

Nader, what up with you lately bro? Your blog is sounding more desperately anti-Iran lately? Your minders asking you to post more unadulterated crappola and shinola since things ain't looking too rosy! I sure as heck ain't a Cyber Basij, not officially at least.LOL. Just a moonlighting Cyber Surfer and part-time global hotel lobby lizard with a knack for spilling the beans on nutters. So chill dude and go easy on the debka impersonation! I can only take so much humour.

tubtuilayka said...

Iran has to do what it has to do. They should have left it 'alone' since the revolution. No, they won't, Iraq war, sanctions, threats of nuclear annihilation, attack of friends etc. What the hell you want it to do? I would have made all these traitors eat their co.kc, honestly, if it were me!

Anonymous said...

it ain't you, babe.


no no no it ain't you, babe.



the bathetic "everybody is always picking on us" is dishonest and calling other Iranians who are critical of the regime "traitors" shows how small and cheap

Anonymous said...

the assumption is present in the article... seeing as the author bases his analysis of cyber basij on all pro-Iran comments. Here's what the cyber-basij probably really do: filter comments on site which they have control, creation of bots to roam Iranian sites, blogs, etc. Write reports on web/media trends and how they could be countered. Spying (includes the menaces the author refers to). web security(includes DOS attacks and that kind of job which requires a degree in informatic security). Judging of what site should be banned in Iran(such as this one I would guess :b). Some may post comments but I highly doubt they're paid for that... They're is no evidence what so ever that Iran highers any commentators yet this article presents it as a fact and goes so far as to claim it can classify them... An analysis of which of these tiers could be hired by the regime could've been interesting had the author been honest enough not to attack everybody he disagrees with and admit that factual knowledge on this cyber-basij actions is very rare and does not include their daily routine or their posting fashion.

Anonymous said...

ask the author if it was his intent to label all pro-regime comments as "cyber basij" in origin.

do ask.

Anonymous said...

Bebe Joon, the problem is that some of the delusional set of so-called Iranians have been bad-mouthing Iran since ages. Treachery is in Persian DNA, if you are "Iranian" and have read our history, every Iranian leader including Dariush (Darias)was betrayed by his own generals when Alexander invaded. So history keeps on repeating I guess. However, fortunately the vast majority of Iranians living in Iran have matured now and there is more nationalism and patriotism since the revolution and an understanding of Iran's place in the sun and its great history. Iranian unity during the jange tahmili was a classic example of changes in national outlook and now the total national unity over the nuclear program. So try to understand reality rather than just parroting Zionist media and its manipulative "news" from the daily hasbara script. What is cheap fakery is subservience to foreign interests. Now try to learn to cook aab ghoost and relax.

Anonymous said...

So you are trying to compare Dariush III to Khaayehemani ?

Anonymous said...

Back in the days of Dariush, Persia's population from Libya to the banks of Indus in Pakistan and the Caucasian mountains was mere one million people, today it is over 80 million. So I believe that the current leadership has more global and national influence including Ayatollah Khamenei's words carry far weight in the nano-second communication age, and hence the global attention on Iran. BTW, read any newspaper around the world and in any language and Iran will be mostly on the front page. This shows the strategic location, energy riches and the potential of present day Iran as an INDEPENDENT and large power.

Even on the strategic geo-political mass power projection matrix, Iran ranks as a major world player with a large landmass, educated population, 16th largest economy, large self-sustaining battle tested military, 4th largest missile strike force, nuke capbility, and sheer rich bounty of raw natural resources available. Do you ever sit back, chill out on the 24/7 anti-Iran frustration and think why no-one including the deadbeat US, despite the constant goading by its Zionist mutt has never seriously intended to take on Iran in a head-on shooting war? bebe joon it is simply suicidal and will not happen. So I am not comparing the situation over 3 millienium of glorious and illustrious Persian history but stating the obvious facts about current REALPOLITIK!

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

@anon 1:47
To be clear, the analysis of the "cyber Basij" paid commentators can only be done as a pattern analysis as described in the piece. It is up to the readers to decide for themselves if an individual commentator is genuine or not. I am sure most of us here would give everyone the benefit of the doubt most of the time.

As for the notion of having hired commentators to push a regime agenda this is nothing new, what's new is that Iran is taking it to next level. I suggest you read this article in huffington post which refers to these practices in china and Russia.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/freedom-house/internet-freedom_b_1974661.html

I am still waiting for critical comments that address what is being raised in the article specifically and without going on tangents, attacking the motives, or blaming the fake BBC site on Israel.

Anonymous said...

You better think very hard and pick which side you're on.
Comparing Cyrus,Darius or the legendary Babak who fought against the Muslim occupiers for over 22 years with an occupying Islamist regime headed by Khamenei,which is destroying ancient Iranian culture with nomadic desert culture from deepest Arabia is very disingenuous of you.
The principles of a nomadic desert culture and its savagery cannot mix with a old civilization like Iran.The result is what you see today poverty,bigotry and the general backwardness that our culture has been put into the straight jacket of Islam.

Anonymous said...

you did raise the question of cyber-basijs' attitude when commentating, and proceeded to grossly assume that comments not in your view were part of a pattern you can attribute to the basij... reality is the only tiers you describe that really could be paid by the regime is the first one (at least i would expect, I'll admit the third one would also make sense). I will not comment on the other parts of your article as I don't have anything to say about it (you didn't say much about my comments either by the way)... and where did you see me talk about Israel or even stating that paid commentators were unheard of? or are you just trying to divert the discussion on grounds you feel more secure?

The pattern you analyze is that of all pro-regime comments, not that of the cyber-basij... If you can't see that then your really as bad as the anti-zionist parrots.

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

@anon 6:16
I'm not quite sure I follow, but I will spell it out for you in case you are still confused about what's being said here. Do I think that all pro regime commentators are cyber Basij? The answer is NO.

Do I think that many of the pro regime commentators fit the patterns described in the article and are likely paid commentators who would argue the point for the sake of arguing and tend to deflect, attack writers, and change the subject? The answer is YES.

To get a glimpse at what what I mean read the comment thread on "how far they will go?" By Paul. Not a single person is addressing the arguments made by Paul but rather the "Cyber Basij" is making one single argument in unison and that is "he is not qualified to talk about Iran because he's never been in Iran or that he is not iranian". I assume the average reader is aware that the majority of Iran analysts and policy makers in the west have never been to Iran, don't speak Farsi and yet the opinions is no less important. Despite that the "cyber Basij" sees this as a rally point for all to converge on.

Anonymous said...

If you would have simply formulated it as you just did (the pattern being that of regime supporters rather then cyber-basij) your analysis would've been quite accurate. Yet you did not, you implied the pattern was that of the basij... this is what I've been disagreeing with..

By the way I agree that many comments (both pro and con regime) deviate the subject and prefer gross one-liners rather then meaningful discussion. This is a plague in our age where reaching consensus is so much less important then finding the one sentence to humiliate your interlocutor.. I admit I kinda drifted towards that in my comments, I just feel as though you are changing your position to better answer me back. your article states you've had experience with the cyber-basij (I don't doubt this by the way), yet your first answer to my comment basically claimed what I've been saying ; their is no way to know what is or isn't a cyber-basij comment.

I'd just add that many con-regime comments do all of the things you said about the pro-regime posters (look at the article about the monkey in space if you want an example). The pattern you describe is that of most net-users these days... One doesn't need to be paid to go down that path.

Anonymous said...

re-reading my comments I'll agree they go in every direction and can be quite confusing... so here are quotations of your article and why I disagree or think they are blatantly disrespectful.

"It appears that the IR has deployed a wide array of commentators" ; their is no factual value in claiming that most commentators that do not position themselves as you do are hired. Most do it for free and will consider this as an insult (seeing how you dislike their insults why would you do the same?).

"Judging by our own experience with the "Cyber Basij" commentators" ; You've already admitted their is no way of knowing whether one is hired or not by the regime. You cannot judge by something you can't be sure you've had.

"The supposed country of origin and style can vary, but most of us have learned to spot these characters for who they are, low paid regime agents" ; Yet another thinly disguised insult, most of these characters simply do not know how to argue and are unable to question their beliefs. The reasons for these beliefs can be varied and might sometimes even have some truth to it, by emitting this one-sided judgement you are doing exactly what you are criticizing.

"On occasion they would adhere to a consistent anti-government line on a couple of unimportant issues to give themselves some credibility." ; you are again implying that not hating the regime means one has no credibility.

", or try to discredit anti-regime bloggers and commentators without actually having any valid reasons" that's all that paragraph is about (if your not from Iran and support the core message of the regime you are a mercenary, the only reason you are arguing is for money, whatever your saying doesn't make sense).

"they love turning the discussion into a tangent discussion about the west or the writers" ; Why would end your analysis (which otherwise was rather factual and had references) with a conclusion with no factual anchor that basically gathers all pro-regime comments and labels them as paid cyber-basij, you are once again doing exactly what you are criticizing.

"I can't help but have some respect for the true believers of the Islamic Republic, especially those using their real names and sticking their necks out defending an unpopular regime." You have no idea who are the true believers and the false. Using a name (how would you know whether it is the real or a false one) doesn't proove a thing. such a claim makes it seem as though you believe you can identify who is a true believer and who isn't....


Anyhow, my day is done (I'm paid by the words so you just paid this months rent)!!! Just kidding by the way but I can't help but expect this accusation to come up at some point :b

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

@anon 7:46
Well done!
If you are a "cyber Basij" you would be at least a tier 2.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, thats the tier I was aiming for (though I'm not Iranian so wouldn't this qualify me as a mercenary i.e third tier)

Seriously the rest of your article was quite good, you could just admit that the last bit was a little emotional or rushed(by the way: your analysis of pro-iran comments was pretty spot on, i could write one on con-iran comments but that would be another discussion completely :b)... I guess hoping for someone to have an evolution of opinion is to much to ask in this day and age...I seriously do try and admit my flaws when writing comments, I would appreciate if you would try and do the same. You could just admit your vocabulary was not wisely chosen (I'm getting convinced this was the case) or that this particular analysis didn't have it's place with the rest of the reporting you did(actually I'm convinced its these two reasons ).


I just find it sad how no one cares about reaching an agreement, but only try and see enemies to conquer and humiliate.

Sincerely,
the anon that been ranting on for a while.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:01 PM....It's not the 16th largest economy in the world.In fact two years ago it was the 28th and now even less.
As for your "rich bounty of raw resources available" part,all of it is being sucked up by the thieving low life mullah regime and some given away to their terrorist friends.
Iran has become a shame under those disgusting uneducated low life vermin of liars thieves and cold blooded murderers.
May it all come back to them and haunt them.

Anonymous said...

Do not exagerate, this blog serves the interests of the Zionists and the West.
The blog cleaveerly uses photolets From Iran and other propaganda ones to portray itself as in touch with Iranian current matters.
When several months agou I had pointed that their photos contain incorrect description, nobody thad taken pains to correct that.

A-F

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

@anon 10:21
Ok tier 3 it is.
In all seriousness though, we may not agree on this as I have picked the terms intentionally, but you must admit that having the cyber Basij around does make it difficult for the genuine pro-IR commentators to be taken seriously, or believed.
Keep up the good work, you can count on me for reference if you do apply for that their 3 job.

Anonymous said...

some part of me tells me you aren't the greatest reference... I'll agree to what you said (having an informatic branch to your army is normal but Iran's secrecy does take away credibility when defending it).. but would you agree that the fact that the MSM is on your side discredits you? seriously up till now you haven't been willing to admit a single fault of your own, while I keep trying to find common ground... All of your comments include some sly remark on me (while I tried to keep my jokes oriented towards myself).


I might sound like a parrot but seriously your just a net-kiddie who has no idea how to discuss... you systematically refuse to answer the arguments against what you wrote, you prefer to go into the personal and unprovable, just like the first tier... I'll admit your english is good but were I to use your logic your just paid by the US, so that brings you back to tier 1....

I dont want you to flatter me (the fact that you haven't answered any of my questions is kind of flattering), I just want you to admit your own faults, which are blatant in your conclusion.

Anonymous said...

why write a long response that addresses the issue when no matter what, the author simply says his position are indisputable and then proceeds to laugh at you.... might as well do the same as the author and write a few pages about how you hate and disrespect some people and never expect to give any follow up.

Anonymous said...

Despite your gibberish, the FACT remains that Iran is progressing quite well despite all US/Zionist efforts to destabilize it. Just watch in the next month a third generation fighter plane would be operational, the largest auto plant in the region is almost complete, a manned space flight is not far away. BTW, a few years ago, the oil refining capacity issue was supposed to bring the government down, according to the usual anti-Iran imeciles? LOL. Today, Iran has the largest refining capacity in the Persian Gulf region. However, don't let me spoil your delusions and daily rants. Iran Payendebad.

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

@anon 2:25
The joke is that you expect me to change the subject from discussing the "deceitful over the top propaganda" of the regime to a discussion about me and my "faults".

I don't know about you but I don't tend to write on topics that I feel "wrong" about. I was willing to agree to disagree, assuming that you are genuinely convinced of your own logic.