, 56 tweets, 35 min read Read on Twitter
So the @StateDept uses taxpayer money to fund online attacks on @HRW because the organization is researching the human cost of US sanctions in #Iran.

Is this even legal?
“Iran Disinformation Project” website says it was launched in 2018 and is funded by @StateDept Global Engagement Center to expose disinformation coming from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
They use @StateDept funding to attack and smear diaspora Iranian journalists, analysts, academics, and activists, some living in exile.

Here are two BBC Persian journalists @BBCArdalan and @BahmanKalbasi constantly attacked by this project and also by those who run it.
Another one of their targets is Iranian-American journalist at Washington Post @jrezaian.

Ironically Jason and his wife @YeganehSalehi were arrested and jailed by the IRGC in Iran and fled the country through a prisoner swap.
Also @Princeton University’s Iranian Studies Centre and their Iranian analyst guests @DEsfandiary and @BijanKK and @rparsi who were part of a panel at Princeton to discuss US-Europe-Iran relations.
Another targets is prominent Iranian-American academic @milanimohsen who is Director of the Center for Strategic & Diplomatic Studies at University of South Florida.

Milani is a recognized scholar and media analyst on Iran, and critical of some of President Trump’s policies.
Another target is @AliVaez who is Director of Iran at @CrisisGroup and adjunct professor at Georgetown University right here in Washington.

They call him Zarif’s spokesman in Washington who is “repeating his lies”.
Another target is Iranian-American academic @nargesbajoghli who is a Professor at @SAISHopkins and recently organized a series of events on Iran.

Atlantic Council’s Iran Director @barbaraslavin1 was also attacked after tweeting about one of these events.
They also attack me. I’m an Iranian-American journalist living in forced exile and can’t visit Iran specifically because I worked for the US federal government as a TV host at VOA Persian.

@IranDisinfo uses my own tax money to attack and smear me and call me “Devil’s Advocate”.
Their most hideous smear attack has been on human rights activist @sepehrifar who is a former political prisoner herself and lives in exile in the US.

Tara works for @HRW and is interviewing Iranians to find out if US sanctions have contributed to a shortage of medicine in Iran.
Now let’s see who is promoted by this @StateDept funded project.
Hi all,
Please ask @statedeptspox about this Iran Disinformation Project and the smear attacks against Iranian-Americans.

@JonathanLanday @APDiploWriter @Abs_NBC @jessdonati
@EenaRuffini @nahaltoosi @nwadhams @shauntandon @MichLKosinski @jmhansler
IMPORTANT: Looks like @IranDisinfo is affiliated with another long-time project funded by @StateDept called TAVAANA. Take a look at this 👇🏼
State Department accepted that @IranDisinfo has crossed a line and announced that their funding has been suspended. Thanks @nahaltoosi for following up.

Now the American public has the right to know details: How much is this grant? Who runs it?
Thanks @michelekelemen and others for following up. Now American taxpayers, specially those Iranian-Americans who were attacked and smeared by this account, deserve to know details of the grant and who runs it.

I hope @StateDept offers more transparency.
Important thread by HRW deputy director @michaelarpage about this attack and smear project funded by the @StateDept.
“US taxpayer dollars being used to attack and smear independent analysis as well as the people (my colleague) doing this work. Move over Sisi and Orban, @StateDept wants to share this shameful stage.”
Great summary of our situation as Iranian journalists in exile being targeted twice:
“really sucks to have to deal with state-sponsored harassment from Iran only to turn around and get it from the State Department. Impossible position these folks are in.”
Important note by @jabdi about connections between these attack and smear campaigns against anti-war Iranian Americans and how we are only looking at the tip of an iceberg.
“We American taxpayers don't fund our government to attack our fellow citizens.” Important thread by former State Department official @JoelMartinRubin about how wrong this is.
@JoelMartinRubin This project seems to be either directly or indirectly connected to @FDD or people who work there.
Tara works for @HRW and was targeted by the State Department funded project👇🏼
Someone familiar with grants tells me that @IranDisinfo is most likely run by one of these two grants: One is $20K-2m and the other is $250K-750K. It would be helpful for @StateDept to provide more details.

Exactly How much of our tax money was used to attack and smear us?
As Iranian-American journalists, we have been targeted, harassed and smeared both by Iranian state actors and now by State Department funded actors. This is just unacceptable.
Another @StateDept grantee who runs a separate project TAVAANA seems to also be involved with @IranDisinfo.

Maryam Memarsadeghi is known for her hawkish views and has been attacking and smearing other Iranian-Americans over the years.
@StateDept @IranDisinfo Former White House official @BrettBruen told me: This money was allocated to protect our allies from Russian disinformation and ISIS propaganda. Iran was not even a consideration for the Global Engagement Centre because it is not a serious threat as Russia, ISIS or even China...
@BrettBruen told me: The worrying part is that priorities have been completely reversed. We are ignoring Russia and ISIS, taking money that was supposed to deal with those significant threats, and using it to fight a propaganda battle against Iran and now Iranian-Americans.
@BrettBruen: Trump admin repurposed this money as part of their efforts to create a perceived threat from Iran. This was a small pot of money that Congress pressured Trump to use against Russia. Apparently they chose to use it to discredit the #IranDeal and those who support it.
Former State Department official @JoelMartinRubin explains that a Cooperative Agreement means that @StateDept officials had hands-on engagement with the grantee on the execution of this project.

So exactly who created the target list with our names?
I work for BBC Persian TV in London. These people smeared me and my colleagues and our channel, accusing us of being supporters of the Iranian regime, trying to discredit us. Used threats and shocking language to do what Iranian government was also doing. Why?
A wider story exists here about trolls and supporters of Iranian opposition/war-mongering hawks and regime-over-throw enthusiasts targeting Iranian-American journalists who have also been victims of #Iran regime. Myself included. Who funds them?
Multiple sources tell me that this person from @FDD is also running @IranDisinfo. It is interesting that he writes reports for the project and it is then promoted by FDD.

Saeed is well known for his hawkish views and for constantly attacking and smearing diaspora Iranians.
US cuts funds for ‘anti-propaganda’ Iran group that trolled activists. The @IranDisinfo project was funded by a state department group created to counter foreign propaganda.
By @julianborger
Just imagine if the Obama State Department had allocated taxpayer money to attack, harass, and smear Jewish-American journalists, analysts, academics, activists and organizations who were critical of Obama’s Israel policy.
Multiple sources tell me another person behind this State propaganda project may be @amiretemadi.

He is known for pro-Trump hawkish views on Iran and consistently attacks and smears Iranian journalists, analysts and activists. He is also close to @PahlaviReza.
Is the Trump admin funneling public funds to organizations dedicated to regime change in Tehran? Are those organizations using those funds to impugn their ideological adversaries online? Has anybody in Trump admin directed them to undertake such attacks?
More evidence on this project being affiliated with another long-time State Department funded project @Tavaana.
Here are a few interconnected accounts that all follow each other. The seem to follow the common goal of attacking and smearing diaspora Iranians who are critical of Trump’s policy of maximum pressure on Iran.

Does @StateDept fund them all?
Former @StateDept official told me:
Using State Department, US taxpayer, money to attack American citizens, human rights organizations, and journalists from around the world is not public diplomacy. It is a disgrace and it puts real people in danger.
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