Israel Army Launches Farsi Social Media Amid Iran Escalation

The Israeli army has launched several Farsi language social media accounts against the backdrop of mounting tensions with Iran.

In a press release yesterday, the Spokesperson’s Unit of the Israeli army said it has now launched Farsi language accounts on Twitter, Instagram and encrypted messaging service Telegram.

The army also announced the move via Twitter, writing that “the people of Iran deserve to hear the truth and that’s exactly what we will share. Iranians can follow @IDFFarsi to see for themselves that they are not the enemy, the oppressive Iranian regime is.”

The Spokesperson’s Unit wasted no time tweeting content from its new account. Yesterday the unit tweeted an image of what it claims to be the command structure of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)’s elite Quds Force unit, which was allegedly planning to carry out attacks on Israel from positions within Syria.

At the top of the chain is Quds Force Commander Major General Qasem Soleimani. Meanwhile at the bottom of the tree are Hassan Yousef Zabeeb and Yasser Ahmad Daher, who were killed during Israel’s strike near Syrian capital Damascus this weekend. Israel claims the pair were members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah and received training from the Quds Force.

Though the decision to set up Farsi language accounts was reportedly taken in “recent months”, the timing of their release will likely be seen in the context of escalating tensions between Israel and Iran.

Regional tensions were stoked by a number of crises in recent months, including the downing of a US drone which allegedly entered Iranian airspace and a series of tanker seizures in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic shipping route off the Iranian coast.

This was escalated by Israel’s announcement earlier this month that it would join the US-led maritime mission to protect ships navigating the Strait. Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yisrael Katz, revealed that he had instructed his ministry to work towards Israel’s inclusion in the mission, but did not specify whether Israel would send naval vessels or assist by providing intelligence.

This provoked outrage from Iran, with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Defence Minister Amir Hatami saying the move was a “clear threat” to Iran which would have “disastrous consequences” for the region.

Since then Israel has struck a number of alleged Iranian positions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This weekend, Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) – an umbrella organisation of Shia paramilitary groups – blamed Israel for an attack on its base near the Syria-Iraq border, the fifth such attack on Iraqi territory this summer.

Also this weekend, two Israeli drones crashed over the Moawwad neighbourhood in the Dahieh quarter of Lebanese capital Beirut. Today Israeli media reported that the strike hit an industrial-sized mixer needed to increase the accuracy of missiles, which Hezbollah had ostensibly planned to move to a secure site.

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