Will the Arab world block Iran’s poisonous propaganda?
After the fall of Saddam’s regime, the Wali al-Faqih state in Tehran and its Iraqi allies dominated power in Baghdad as a result of a de facto alliance between the American invasion armies and the Iranian regime.
The Sunnis become the oppressed instead of the Shia and the new rulers allowed themselves to inflict revenge on every Iraqi who had a role in preventing Khomeini from occupying Iraq, including Iraqi officers, soldiers, doctors, engineers and thinkers.
From Saddam Hussein, the Iranians learned the importance of using the weaponised word to legitimise their occupation, to justify the presence of their militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and to seek to establish the Shia crescent that links Tehran to the shores of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
They spent without limits on developing their goals, relying on the emotional sectarian religious narrative that is most capable of inciting sectarian strife among the Shia of Iraq and the Arab world. Moreover, they used the Husseiniyas, the Friday sermons, the mourning processions and pilgrimages to holy shrines as part of their venues of influence.
With the development of communication technologies and the advent of satellites capable of carrying hundreds of radio and television stations, Iran and its loyal political parties and militias added internet sites to their weapons as they moved their wars to the sky.
The Arab viewers were besieged by dozens of Shia satellite channels dedicated to revisiting both true and fabricated stories of ancient history, myths and fables included, in the service of the Iranian regime’s racist and expansionist plans that are couched in the veneer of Islamic jihad.
There are 73 satellite channels funded by Iran and Iraqi and Lebanese militias.
It was expected from the managers of Arab satellite systems, which allow the broadcasting of these satellite channels, to take the initiative of monitoring them and blocking the channels that require blocking in order to protect the Arab viewers from their venomous content.
But they did nothing of the kind.
The issue has come to the fore again with the United States’ surprise decision to seize 33 web sites run by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union, including three web sites used by the Iranian-backed Iraqi Kata’eb Hezbollah faction.
It also prevented access to the web sites of other TV channels inside Iraq, most notably Al-Furat channel affiliated with Ammar al-Hakim, the TV channel “Asia” affiliated with the head of the Iraqi Congress Party, Aras Habib, who was originally on the US terrorism list, the “Afaaq” channel belonging to Nouri al-Maliki and other Shia satellite channels.
As for the Iranian websites that were shuttered, they are “Al-Alam” and “Al-Masirah” affiliated with the Houthi militias, “Al Loloua”, “Al-Kawthar”, “Palestine Today”, “Al-Nabaa” and others.
The administrators of the Egyptian satellite, Nilesat and that of the Arab League satellite, Arabsat, host most of these sectarian, racist and extremist channels that play, with their rhetoric, their programmes and fanatical extremist contributors, the most dangerous roles towards promoting ignorance and misinformation as well as spreading myths and awakening dormant strife.
Will they now follow America’s example and decide to protect their viewers from these satellite channels that are more dangerous to Arab societies than planting explosives, perpetrating targeted killings and pushing drug smuggling?