Organizing demonstrations in front of Iranian consulates worldwide, staging mock stonings and hangings in public, and launching a massive media campaign against Iran - these are just some of the steps Israeli diplomats have been told to take in the coming weeks. The goal, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official, is "to show the world that Iran is not a Western democracy" in the run-up to the country's presidential election on June 12.
About a week ago, the head of the ministry's Task Force on Isolating Iran sent a classified telegram to all Israeli embassies and consulates, titled "Activities in the Run-up to Iran's Presidential Election." It detailed things Israeli representatives should do before, during and after the election.
The telegram noted that hundreds of journalists from around the world will go to Iran to cover the election. Therefore, Israeli representatives must try to give background briefings to various media outlets before the journalists depart, and to the host country's foreign ministry officials.
In addition, diplomats should try to promote press coverage of stories that reveal the Iranian regime's true face, especially its violations of human rights and suppression of individual liberty.
The main message Israeli diplomats should try to send is that "despite the democratic game of a presidential election, this is still a terrible regime that infringes on human rights and imposes many restrictions on its citizens," the telegram said. In a nutshell, the goal is to "blacken Iran's international reputation."
One specific recommendation is that diplomats organize "anti-Iranian events" opposite Iranian embassies worldwide. These could include mock hangings and stonings, since Iran still uses both methods to execute offenders - particularly homosexuals and women who violate its morality laws.
"We decided to move from defense to offense," a senior Foreign Ministry official said, explaining the decision to broaden Israel's public diplomacy campaign against Iran to showcase other issues, such as human rights violations, instead of focusing solely on Iran's nuclear program. "We need to show the world who the real Iran is and make sure that the presidential election does not create the illusion that it is a Jeffersonian democracy."
Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon embarked yesterday on a tour of North and South America aimed at explaining the importance of halting Iran's nuclear program. His first stop was New York, where he participated in the annual Salute to Israel parade yesterday.
In an interview with Fox News, Ayalon said that Iran is trying to increase its influence worldwide, especially in the Middle East and Latin America. Iran's ability to fire long-range missiles threatens the entire world, he warned, and if it keeps extending the range of its missiles, they may soon be able to reach the eastern United States.
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