Iran’s Tasnim News Agency claims that a fake account was created in Tasnim’s name on Twitter.
The social media handle of that account has now been deleted, but while it existed, it supposedly put out a fake statement about Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh. Hajizadeh is sometimes called the “drone mastermind” for Iran’s drone program that currently threatens the region.
According to Tasnim, the fake account “published news about the assassination attempt on Sardar Hajizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force.”
The apparently fake news did not spread far and was mostly in Farsi. A search of the account shows it no longer exists, and only a few replies currently exist online.
Tasnim News seems to be the main organization alerting everyone that this is false information. One might wonder, if the account was taken down so quickly, what is the point of Iranian media highlighting false information about an attack on the key IRGC commander’s car, alleging an assassination attempt?
The claim by Tasnim says that in recent days there have been other rumors spread online, such as claims that Mohammed Qalibaf, a key official, has resigned.
Why is Iran so worried?
Is it worried because fake news accounts actually exist? Or is it because information is spreading disguised as rumors on social media, and some of this might be accurate or related to other power centers in Iran seeking to tarnish the reputation of rivals?
This is not the first time that rumors about resignations or events have taken place regarding Iran and regime officials. When Iran’s pro-government media seek to highlight these issues, it is usually because there is more at play than just what is on the surface.