Iran Is Paying Anti-Israel Protesters on Campus, Says DNI

AP Photo/Richard Vogel

The government of Iran has taken advantage of widespread anti-Israel protests on college campuses in the United States to infiltrate and pay protest groups, using Iranian intelligence agents to pose as activists to incite anti-Israel activities, according to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. 

"Iranian government actors have sought to opportunistically take advantage of ongoing protests regarding the war in Gaza, using a playbook we’ve seen other actors use over the years," Haines wrote in a rare public statement. "We have observed actors tied to Iran’s government posing as activists online, seeking to encourage protests, and even providing financial support to protesters." 

Haines said that the briefing and statement would be the first in a series informing the American people about foreign influencers attempting to interfere in the American election.

I'm sure Democrats want you to know that everything is fine, that our system is foolproof, and say! Look over there! Squirrel!

In truth, DNI Haines is worried because Iran is trying to embolden the far-left, pro-Hamas activists to continue agitating against Israel.

"Iran is becoming increasingly aggressive in their foreign influence efforts, seeking to stoke discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions, as we have seen them do in the past, including in prior election cycles," Haines said. "They continue to adapt their cyber and influence activities, using social media platforms and issuing threats."

Haines excused the radical anti-Israeli activists for being Iranian dupes.

The DNI simultaneously defended those who engage in anti-Israel protests, saying they are operating "in good faith."

"I want to be clear that I know Americans who participate in protests are, in good faith, expressing their views on the conflict in Gaza—this intelligence does not indicate otherwise," Haines said.

The U.S. intelligence community warned in March that Iran and other nations have the capabilities and desire to "conduct influence operations" meant to interfere in the 2024 election.

Yes, "good faith" antisemites should be given a pass, right? Imagine saying the same thing about Americans participating in a Klu Klux Klan rally. Sheesh.

The Iranians cheered on the antisemites during the campus protests, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claiming the protesters were on the "right side of history."

“You have now formed a branch of the Resistance Front and have begun an honorable struggle in the face of your government’s ruthless pressure — which openly supports Zionists,” Khamenei posted on X.

That Iran was funding and trying to influence the protesters isn't news. The news is that the largely pro-Iranian administration of Joe Biden even bothered to mention it. Biden continues to try and resurrect the horrible Iran nuclear deal and keeps shoveling billions of dollars to the Iranian theocracy 

“Director Haines’ statement is a welcome if overdue turning point in the Biden administration, whose officials initially repeated and amplified Iranian state narratives but are now increasingly waking up to the many threats posed by the regime,” said Gabriel Noronha, who worked on Iran policy at the State Department during the Trump administration.

National Review:

Noronha also pointed to long-running Iranian influence efforts that sought to shape Western public opinion and elite decision-making: “This has long been known and exposed by close Iran watchers, while simultaneously denied by those who welcomed the Iranian narratives.”

President Biden’s special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, was connected to an Iranian influence network that was exposed by media reporting last year. He was reportedly suspended amid a State Department probe into his handling of classified materials, an investigation that has involved the FBI.

Malley was president of the International Crisis Group, a left-wing organization "committed to preventing wars." George Soros has given more than $50 million to the ICG, whose pro-Iranian activities have drawn the attention of the FBI.

Malley is part of a pro-Iranian network of academics set up by the Iranian foreign ministry in 2014, according to Semafor. Their task is influencing U.S. policy and getting America to ease its sanctions.

“If you were a regime running a game plan of how to subvert the United States’ political system from within, this would be it to a tee,” Noronha said.

It's hard to accept anything the Biden administration says about Iran at face value.



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