Ayatollah Khomeini’s ‘soft war’ hits the Indian hinterland – Part II

On January 31, 2019, Twitter released the second dataset on the ongoing cyber-enabled influence operations targeting various nations, including India.

It led me to write this Part II of my earlier report on the Iranian disinformation campaign which weaponised prevailing political polarisation in India. The Part I is here: Planet-scale influence operation strikes at the heart of polarised Indian polity.

TL;DR – Part I: The largest known foreign disinformation network targeting India. Iranian in origin, possibly operated via a front in Pakistan. May have physical presence in India. Garnered hundreds of thousands of social media impressions. Legitimised by the top leaders of mainstream political parties in the opposition.

TL;DR – Part II: In this piece, I will arrive at certain definitive conclusions on the actors’ intent as well as directly attribute parts of the operation to a soft war/propaganda arm of the Iranian government. This is not an attempt at domestic sabotage but a desperate bid to propagate a counter-narrative — as Iran feels suffocated by the Western media’s discourse, portraying it in a uni-dimensional way.

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