Is Iran Lobby Pro-US or Pro-Putin?

Earlier this year, Marcel H. Van Herpen, director of the Cicero Foundation, a think tank with branches in both Maastricht and Paris, published a comprehensive study entitled Putin’s Propaganda Machine: Soft Power and Russian Foreign Policy. It’s a timely work, well researched, well written, and comprehensive. And it certainly added greater context to Russia Today (RT), Russia’s flagship English-language network. He writes:

From 2009 onward, the focus of Russia Today began to change. From a defensive soft-power weapon, RT began to develop as an offensive weapon…. Anchors of RT programs (such as Peter Lavelle) did not hide their explicit anti-American views. RT also started inviting representatives of marginal, often extreme right antigovernment groups, who were presented as ‘experts.’ One of these groups was the so-called 9/11 truthers, people who believe that the 9/11 attacks were not the work of al-Qaeda terrorists but a US government conspiracy… Another group was the ‘birthers,’ people who doubted—against all evidence—that President Obama was born in the United States and denied that he was eligible to be US president… RT ‘experts’ also included Malik Zulu Shabazz, the leader of the New Black Panther Party, a hate group. Another invited pundit was Daniel Estulin, who considered the European Union to be the realization of a secret plan invented by the Bilderberg Group…. The same penchant for conspiracy theories was revealed in the RT program The Truth-seeker, which suggested the US government was behind the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in April 2013, in which two ethnic Chechen killed three people. Manuel Ochsenreiter, a guest speaker about German affairs on RT’s English-language channel, is actually the editor of the neo-Nazi magazine Zuerst!, a monthly radical-right magazine that…speaks out against ‘de-nazification.’

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Is Iran Lobby Pro-US or Pro-Putin?

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