Iranian Journalist Who Fled From Zarif ‘s Press Pool – OpEd


Amir Tohid Fazel, Iranian state news journalist and the political editor of Mowj News Agency in Iran who accompanied Foreign minister Zarif during his European tour, last week sought political asylum in Sweden on Aug 21, 2019. Fazel was the first reporter who published a list of dual nationals in the Iranian government; an issue that irritates against President Hassan Rouhani, Zarif.

In an interview with Swedish national broadcaster SVT that Fazel claimed “asylum” because of a colleague from Tehran warned him that four Iranian plainclothes agents had visited his office with an arrest warrant.

Fazel said: “he had published a list of “very prominent members of the Iranian government who have dual citizenship or permanent residency of countries that the government considers an enemy of Iran, such as the US, England, and Canada.”

He told the reporters: “On Wednesday morning, August 30th, I was able to deceive the Zarif’s team of correspondents and runaway. Except for The 48 secret agents who were focused on our activities There Were Iranian secret agents around the city, for example, on either side of the hotel and, near the shops around the hotel… It was very difficult to escape this security ring.

In Sweden, due to the popular protests against Zarif’s visit, the atmosphere was better. on Wednesday morning we went to have breakfast. At one point, I heard that a security officer told his colleague to take all the reporters with a van, to the lecture room where Zarif had an interview and then to the embassy, and finally take them straight to the airport.

I had handed over my luggage, and I had only one backpack with one or two warm clothes on, I begged them to let me have a smoke. Every time I wanted to smoke they told me: What are you doing? Why you smoke many times? I ask them to let me smoke a cigarette behind the van. And they stared at me. But at the moment I reached behind the van I started running and didn’t look behind me. I was scared along the way, every moment I felt like someone was behind me. They constantly ringing on my cellphone with the SIM card that the embassy had given me. I stopped for a moment and took the SIM card out of my cellphone and threw it away and continued on my way. I got a taxi and begged him to take me to the police station, where I applied for asylum. Since his escape, Fazel’s wife has been dismissed from her job and his child has experienced difficulties registering for school, he said.

“It has been very difficult on my family,” he added.

Later Maryam Salari, an Iranian a diplomatic correspondent who accompanied Foreign minister Zarif in this tour, tweeted about Fazel’s political asylum, she wrote:

“The scattered presence of a number of MEK members at the scene in Sweden was of great concern to the embassy team members, who were constantly urging reporters to travel inside the city”.

It is worth mentioning that in his visits to Scandinavia and France, Iranian regime Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was attempting to loosen the noose around the neck of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As seen in each and every stop he made, supporters of the Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held rallies in Finland, Sweden, Norway and France protesting his visit and denouncing him as a terrorist.

Iran ranked 170th in Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 World Press Freedom Index, making it one of the worst countries for press freedom.

Hassan Mahmoudi

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.

One thought on “Iranian Journalist Who Fled From Zarif ‘s Press Pool – OpEd

  • August 31, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Brother Fadhil will regret what he has done. There is no better home than your original home. The land, the air, the water, the people, and the culture will make a big difference. He will miss all these characters of Iran.
    In Sweeden he will be treated like a second-hand citizen or an immigrant or illegal invador who has come to take part of the Viking’s wealth. In a week he will feel the pains.
    For the news here there are many people with two or three nationalities in the world. Is this bad or are they traitors? No. Not all of them. I am sure the percentage who are not loyal may be less than the percentage who live in their own countries. How many Brit citizens were spies for the USSR? The world is full of those. I do not think two or three nationalities should be used against the holders.
    A case can be stated MBS and AL-Saud have been serving Israel and world imperialism for many decades. They do have Saudi citizenship only. Yet, they have served Zionism and world imperialism more than serving the Arab people.
    At any rate hopefully the Islamic Republic of Iran keeps in touch with him and give him the security and the ease for going back to Iran. Mr Fazil or Fadhil is better will be missing even having popular food in the streets of Tehran.


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