Mehr, Sputnik, Tehran Times hold 2nd joint webinar

TEHRAN, Nov. 24 (MNA) – Psychological warfare and spreading of fake news by Western media against Iran and Russia was discussed in a joint webinar by Mehr News Agency (MNA), Tehran Times and the Russian Sputnik News Agency on Wednesday.

Mehr News Agency, Tehran Times and the Russian Sputnik News Agency held their second joint webinar on Wednesday.

The topic of today’s webinar was “Psychological and information warfare and spreading fake news by Western media against Iran and Russia.” The session was held in Farsi language.

At the start of the meeting Payman Yazdani, the editor-in-chief of Mehr English service took the lead to thank the Sputnik for the initiative to hold the joint webinar.

Yazdani also gave a summary of Mehr and Tehran Times history at the request of the Russian host of the event Ivan Zakharov, the director of Sputnik foreign languages department.

Mehr, Sputnik, Tehran Times hold 2nd joint webinar
Payman Yazdani - Mehr News Agency 

The Mehr journalist said that main topic of today’s event would be “Psychological and information warfare and fake news by Western media against Iran and Russia.”

Yazdani stressed the necessity of mutual cooperation between Russian and Iranian media in order to counter and defeat the monopoly of western media.

As regard the fake news, he recalled the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 after creating fake news of Iraq’s WMDs.

Mr. Zakharov said that the Russian Sputnik news agency attaches great importance to countering the information war and fake news by Western media against Russia and Iran and shared a video on the topic.

Mehr, Sputnik, Tehran Times hold 2nd joint webinar
Ivan Zakharov - Sputnik News Agency 

Then, the Sputnik director of international section presented a lecture on the US policies towards Russia and Iran. He divided his lecture into four categories:

1- The US sanctions and the list of sanctions which targeted high-ranking Iranian officials. He gave the history of the US sanctions against Russians. He said that Washington imposed sanctions on 75 Russian individuals and 122 entities after the Russian annexation of Crimea. The Sputnik journalist further pointed to the US sanctions against different high-ranking Iranian officials including the Leader of the Islamic Revolution. He pointed out that the sanctions are part of the US decade-old deterrence policy.

2- Accusing Iranian and Russian hackers of interference in US elections and targeting US commercial entities: Zakharov said that the US accusations and the alleged cyber-attacks by Russians and Iranians are ridiculous and unfounded that are being made in line with the interest of the US politicians. 

3- Iranophobia and Russophobia: Zakharov said that the US politicians spread Iranophobia and Russophobia to achieve their political goals. He dated back Russophobia to 19th century and went on to say that the US government continued the same policy after the Russian Revolution in October 1917. The Sputnik staff member also said that the US government officials and politicians used to wrongly accuse the labor class and trade unions of being backed by the Russian government in order to sideline their legitimate demands. 

4- US president’s influential role in forming the US intelligence theory towards Iran and Russia. Zakharov said that there was not difference between Democratic and Republican presidents as both presidents use the issues of Russia and Iran to advance their policies.

Mehr, Sputnik, Tehran Times hold 2nd joint webinar

In response to a question by the audience about the difference between the US sanctions against Iran and Russia, Zakharov said that the Russian sanctions have never been as sever and tough as the sanctions that the Iranians have been under over the past 40 years since the 1979 revolution.

The Russian hosts of the event further said that perhaps the Russians have to learn from the patience and resistance of the Iranian nation against the sanctions.

The Russian side further asked Yazdani on the impact of the sanctions on the livelihood of the Iranian people where the Mehr journalist said in response that although the US sanctions have created difficulties for Iranians but they have not been crippling and life goes on in Iran.

Mehr, Sputnik, Tehran Times hold 2nd joint webinar
Marina Al-Shalan - Sputnik News Agency 

At the end of the session, the Mehr English service editor-in-chief suggested the Russian side that Iran and Russian media can form a joint entity by the name of “the club of sanctioned countries’ media” with the participation of other countries’ media that oppose unipolar system to counter the information warfare and fake news by the western media, which received a warm welcome by the Sputnik.

Yazdani also referred to the Western efforts to create Russophobia among Iranians and said that public diplomacy and increasing contacts and cooperation with the participation of the people could play a significant role in foiling that Western plots. Yazdani and Zakharov stressed that journalists and media in both countries need to do something in that regard.

The two sides also expressed their preparedness to hold similar meetings in the future.

The first joint webinar was held in English language last Tuesday with a focus on the wrong image that the western mainstream media give of the eastern countries.

Reporting by Kamal Iranidoost

News Code 181070

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