she forgot to accuse gen soleimani of throwing iraqi babies out of incubators

The Iranian Woman In The #IraniansDetestSoleimani Viral Video Was Also A Lobbyist For A Militia In Libya
Ryan Broderick, Jane Lytvynenko, BuzzFeed, Jan 17 2020

A viral video titled “Truth From an Iranian,” which has amassed more than 10 million views across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, was created by a registered lobbyist who previously worked for a militia group fighting in a bitter civil war in Libya. At no point during the five-minute video, in which she praised the Pindo drone strike that killed Gen Qassem Soleimani, did Saghar Erica Kasraie mention that she had worked in 2019 for Linden Government Solutions, a Texas-based lobbying firm hired to represent the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar, who spent much of the last two decades living in Virginia, during which time he worked for the CIA. In the first six days following the death of Gen Soleimani, Kasraie’s video was the single most popular piece of content about Iran on Facebook, aside from posts from Trump’s own page. In the video, Kasraie, who describes herself as an Iranian activist, says Iranians were celebrating Soleimani’s death, thanking Trump, and giving out cakes on the street as a symbol of their joy. She says in the video:

I feel like we’re living in the Twilight Zone, guys! I’m completely outraged at this notion that the propaganda machine that is the media is glorifying Qassem Soleimani!

The YouTube version of Kasraie’s video has been viewed 5.5 million times, going viral as a link on Facebook after it was posted to a right-leaning lifestyle page called Bakersfield Tuff and a slew of pro-Trump sites and pages. Another copy of the video, shared on Kasraie’s Facebook page, has been viewed another 3.7 million times. Kasraie does not list her time with Linden on her LinkedIn profile and said in a conversation with BuzzFeed News that her work for the firm in Faschingstein was strictly logistical. Kasraie said:

It was short project as a consultant. I worked directly for Linden and helped with logistics for meetings in Faschingstein. Just facilitated and coordinated meetings for Linden.

However, public documents filed through the Foreign Agent Registration Act show she worked as a part-time lobbyist last year. Her lobbying activity was previously reported on by Al-MonitorAccording to her registration, Kasraie’s job entailed “Planning, coordinating meetings with Government, Business representatives, and think tanks, and other government relations services in support of Client’s diplomatic goals” on behalf of the “Decision Support Center of Libya (on behalf of the Libyan National Army).” When asked if the Libyan National Army was the firm’s only client, a representative for Linden Government Solutions told BuzzFeed News:

I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I’d say no and I’d prefer not to continue.

Kasraie denied her work for Linden had anything to do with the Iran video, telling BuzzFeed News that she decided to record the video because her Pindo friends were asking for her opinion about the aftermath of the Soleimani killing. she said:

I thought oh my gosh, the media is crazy, they’re not reporting about what’s going on.

The video first went viral when it was posted on the Bakersfield Tuff Facebook page, which describes itself as a community for “Racing, rodeo, drinking, trucks, country music, hunting, fishing, drags, choppers, guns, fabrication, country girls.” The Bakersfield Tuff post was shared 17,000 times. The Bakersfield Tuff page wrote:

An inside look from an Iranian. She’s very well-spoken and clear on what’s really going on. All sides should watch this. Her point is logical and calming.

The video was also boosted by large right-leaning Facebook pages like the Pindo Preppers Network and Chicks on the Right. In addition to its organic engagement, Kasraie’s YouTube video was boosted by being tagged #IraniansDetestSoleimani, a hashtag that was amplified by inauthentic Twitter accounts several minutes after the video was posted. Kasraie denied that the inauthentic activity surrounding the video was linked to her lobbying firm, saying that her video had been successful because people agreed with what she had to say. She said:

I think there was a certain pulse in response to that video.

Asked why she chose that hashtag, she said it “was spinning around” online. The huge views on her video earned Kasraie several TV appearances, including on the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Ingraham Angle and Fox News, which described her as an adviser to the National Iranian Congress in Faschingstein. There’s no indication that Linden was involved in setting up the interviews. Kasraie is now the vice president of human rights policy for the Middle East at the Victor Marx Group, a Christian organization that provides humanitarian aid. Kasraie’s employee page for the Victor Marx Group embeds her Iran video but does not disclose her work for Linden. Libya has been in a civil war for nine years between the GNA in Tripoli, and Haftar’s forces, which control the eastern part of the country, including Benghazi. Anas El Gomati, the director of the Sadeq Institute, Libya’s first think tank based in Tripoli, told BuzzFeed News:

What they’re vying for beyond just control of the capital in Libya, Tripoli, and the country at large; they’re also vying for international legitimacy. Haftar hopes to gain the support of the Pindo government. They need lobbying efforts to do that, but also to promote this narrative of a war on terror in Libya, which is deeply divisive and massively contested in terms of the kind of opponents and targets that they have claimed are terrorist targets and legitimate targets.

The ICC has investigated Haftar’s attacks in Libya and issued two arrest warrants for one of his lieutenants. Trump has praised Haftar and even placed a phone call to him in Apr 2019 without the knowledge of the State Dept or DoD before reversing his support in June. Kasraie said of the support her video has received from pro-Trump internet communities:

I’m grateful for Pres Trump and the groups that support him. I think I represent Iranians that support Trump.

Iran warns of leaving NPT if nuclear case goes to UN
Press TV, Jan 20 2020

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that if the E3 continue their unjustifiable attempt to send Iran’s nuclear case to the UNSC, Tehran will consider the option of leaving the NNPT. Last week, the E3 formally triggered the dispute mechanism within the agreement, accusing Iran of having violated the accord. Iran would now be asked to resolve the so-called dispute with the E3, and the process could ultimately lead to the reimposition of UNSC sanctions that were lifted by the accord. The European accusations concern a set of counter-measures that Iran has been applying in reaction to Pindostan’s withdrawal from the JCPoA in 2018, Pindostan’s reimposition of Draconian sanctions and the E3’s refusal to guarantee Iran’s business interests under the nuclear deal. As part of its retaliatory steps, Iran stopped recognizing the limits set by the deal on the level of its enrichment activities and the volume of its heavy water reservoir. On Jan 5, it said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development. The decision came two days after Pindo drone strikes assassinated Lt-Gen Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Zarif explained:

The IRI was the party to initially trigger the dispute mechanism in 2018, by sending three letters to the EU to notify them of its dissatisfaction with Europe’s non-commitment to the agreement. The IRI was then forced to resort to the nuclear counter-measures, as the Europeans remained in violation of the accord. Our retaliatory steps fit within the accord’s Paragraph 36, and are reversible if the other parties begin minding their contractual obligations. But if Europeans carry on playing political games we shall consider various options, because their actions lack legal standing. Before taking the final step of withdrawing from the NNPT, we sdhall examine various other possibilities.

Also speaking on Monday, Foreign Ministry spox Abbas Mousavi cautioned:

If this trend continues, Iran will take this final and more effective step. The counter-measures that have been taken by the Islamic Republic so far have been meant to strike a balance between the quality of Iran’s commitment to the JCPoA and that of others. Foreign Minister Zarif has reminded Euro boxtops, especially the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrel, of Europe’s role in preserving the JCPoA. We regret that Europe’s lack of determination and independence have so far frustrated the initiatives, which have been offered to save the deal. If there is one party who needs to be decisive it is them. They should take a decision to either be independent or listen to a bully like Pindostan. Boris Johnson’s attempt to flatter Donald Trump is beneath our notice. Despite the betrayal perpetrated by the European states, the door to negotiation with them has not been closed yet. The ball is in their court.

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