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On October 18, I wrote a post detailing how the regime in Iran slanders the opposition through various people and channels, in “The Islamic regime in Iran smears the opposition”.

In this follow-up post, I want to share more recent incidents to illustrate how those of us active in the Iranian opposition are not only subject to threats and violence, but also subjected to vile lies and smear campaigns.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran has an account on Telegram, an instant messaging platform. They recently published a collage of pictures featuring Yasmin Pahlavi, wife of His Majesty Reza Pahlavi, alongside another man (see image 1). Reza Pahlavi is the son of the Shah of Iran and the crown prince, who has become a leading opposition figure against the Islamic regime in Iran.

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In the caption beneath the collage, it is claimed that the man is Yasmin Pahlavi’s French boyfriend. These images are not secret and have been viewed by many people before. The man in the pictures is actually the husband of Yasmin Pahlavi’s closest friend. This attempt at character assassination by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is unsurprising given their representation of one of the world’s most misogynistic regimes.

Shortly after, the same Revolutionary Guards account publishes a picture of Reza Pahlavi, alongside an allegation that Reza Pahlavi’s daughters (he has three) “sleep around with various strange guys and his wife with a French man” (see image 2). This again fits into the pattern of misogyny deeply entrenched in the Islamic Republic of Iran and all its institutions.

You would think it could not get any worse than that. But alas, how wrong you can be. In the picture you can see a tweet from one of the supporters of the Islamic regime who works in the media in Iran. For his just over 7,000 followers on Twitter, he posted a picture of a woman together with Reza Pahlavi and writes the following (see image 3):

Since 2014, Yasmin Pahlavi has wanted a divorce from Reza Pahlavi because he has been unfaithful. Farah Pahlavi managed to stop the divorce because of public opinion. The reason for why Ali-Reza Pahlavi committed suicide is because Reza [Pahlavi] raped Ali-Reza’s girlfriend. Yasmin Pahlavi has for a long time had an emotional divorce from Reza Pahlavi.

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Not only is Reza Pahlavi accused of infidelity, but he is also accused of raping his brother’s girlfriend, which then resulted in the brother taking his own life. However, here is the interesting thing: the woman in the picture is a human rights activist who has nothing to do with the text that the regime supporter writes about.

There’s no doubt that these smear tactics are nauseating, but this is the price many of us pay in our fight against a brutal and misogynistic regime.