A media aide to the Rouhani regime in Iran has defected during the nuclear talks between the U.S. and Tehran, seeking refuge in Switzerland.
Defector Amir Hossein Motaghi revealed in an interview with a London paper “The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”
Secretary of State John Kerry at the Iran talks in Switzerland
Motaghi previously managed public relations for Hassan Rouhani during the 2013 election campaign. Iranian news agencies are reporting that Motaghi quit his job at the Iran Student Correspondence Association.
During his appearance with a London media outlet, Motaghi also revealed that he quit because he could only write what he was told to write by the regime.
“There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations,” he told Irane Farda television. “But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels. My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.”
Rumors surround Motaghi’s reasons for defections. Writes the Telegraph, “One news website claimed he had been forced in to report to the ministry of intelligence weekly, and that he had been tipped off that he might be subject to arrest had he returned to Tehran.”