Why do people in Iran call the U.S. Voice of America (VOA) the “Voice of Ayatollahs”?
Tragically, rather than promote our national interests, VOA regurgitates Iranian regime propaganda.
Millions of Iranians hunger for freedom from their repressive, theocratic regime —as evidenced by the 2009 Green Movement uprising and the recent protests in December and January.
As a totalitarian society, Tehran fears and restricts its citizens’ unfettered access to information, forcing upon them a diet of Iranian indoctrination.
VOA, through its digital, TV and radio content, is the only voice of the United States in Iran. Its stated mission is to promote freedom and democracy around the world, providing information about American society, culture, values, policies and points of view to anti-regime protestors in Iran and other totalitarian states.
President Donald Trump is requesting $661 million for FY2019 to finance our information war against America’s enemies. We’re not getting our money’s worth.
During the recent Iran protests, VOA initially failed to include the Iran story on its homepage. It delayed in transmitting videos from the protests and White House statements regarding the Iranian situation.
Shockingly, VOA’s Internet coverage headlined Iranian state media and their leaders while burying President Trump’s tweets supporting the protestors. Our “Voice” publicized Iranian government propaganda in a video slamming President Trump titled, “Rouhani Rejects Trump’s Support for Iranian Protesters.” Promoting Iranian talking points, VOA aired an Iranian report, “Iranian Official Blames ‘Foreign Agents’ for Protester Deaths,” which implied U.S. responsibility for at least 21 civilian deaths.
Using statements from Ayatollah Khamenei and Iranian President Rouhani without context or alternative views, VOA presented to Iranians their regime’s disinformation, giving their comments an American imprimatur.
Remarkably, VOA failed to publicize Ambassador Nikki Haley’s United Nations speech praising the bravery of Iranian dissidents and reciting the demands for freedom they chanted in the streets.