Iran Disaster Setup

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich and Finian Cunningham — Sputnik News Jan 13, 2020

The 19-second video published by the New York Times last week showing the moment an Iranian missile hit a passenger jet has prompted much social media skepticism.

Questions arise about the improbable timing and circumstances of recording the precise moment when the plane was hit.

The newspaper ran the splash story on January 9, the day after a Ukrainian airliner was brought down near Tehran. It was headlined: ‘Video Shows Ukrainian Plane Being Hit Over Iran’. All 176 people onboard were killed. Two days later, the Iranian military admitted that one of its air defense units had fired at the plane in the mistaken belief that it was an incoming enemy cruise missile.

“A smoking gun” was how NY Times’ journalist Christiaan Triebert described the video in a tweet. Triebert works in the visual investigations team at the paper. In the same tweet, he thanked – “a very big shout out” – to an Iranian national by the name of Nariman Gharib “who provided it [the video] to the NY Times, and the videographer, who would like to remain anonymous”

The anonymous videographer is the person who caught the 19-second clip which shows a missile striking Flight PS752 shortly after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomenei airport at around 6.15 am. This person, who remains silent during the filming while smoking a cigarette (the smoke briefly wafts over the screen), is standing in the suburb of Parand looking northwest. His location was verified by the NY Times using satellite data. The rapid way the newspaper’s technical resources were marshaled raises a curious question about how a seemingly random video submission was afforded such punctilious attention.

But the big question which many people on social media are asking is: why was this “videographer” standing in a derelict industrial area outside Tehran at around six o’clock in the morning with a mobile phone camera training on a fixed angle to the darkened sky? The airliner is barely visible, yet the sky-watching person has the camera pointed and ready to film a most dramatic event, seconds before it happened. That strongly suggests, foreknowledge.

Given that something awful has just been witnessed it is all the more strange that the person holding the camera remains calm and unshaken. There is no audible expression of shock or even the slightest disquiet.

Turns out that Nariman Gharib, the guy who received the video and credited by the NY Times for submitting it, is a vociferous anti-Iranian government dissident who does not live in Iran. He ardently promotes regime change in his social media posts.

Christiaan Triebert, the NY Times’ video expert, who collaborated closely with Gharib to get the story out within hours of the incident, previously worked as a senior investigator at Bellingcat. Bellingcat calls itself an independent online investigative journalism project, but numerous critics accuse it of being a media adjunct to Western military intelligence. Bellingcat has been a big proponent of media narratives smearing the Russian and Syrian governments over the MH17 shoot-down in Ukraine in 2014 and chemical weapons attacks.

In the latest shoot-down of the airliner above Tehran, the tight liaison between a suspiciously placed anonymous videographer on the ground and an expatriate Iranian dissident who then gets the prompt and generous technical attention of the NY Times suggests a level of orchestration, not, as we are led to believe, a random happenstance submission. More sinisterly, the fateful incident was a setup.

It seems reasonable to speculate that in the early hours of January 8 a calamitous incident was contrived to happen. The shoot-down occurred only four hours after Iran attacked two US military bases in Iraq. Those attacks were in revenge for the American drone assassination on January 3 of Iran’s top military commander, Maj. General Qassem Soleimani.

Subsequently, Iranian air-defense systems were on high alert for a possible counter-strike by US forces. Several reports indicate that the Iranian defense radars were detecting warnings of incoming enemy warplanes and cruise missiles on the morning of 8 January. It does seem odd why the Iranian authorities did not cancel all commercial flights out of Tehran during that period. Perhaps because civilian airliners can normally be differentiated by radar and other signals from military objects.

However, with the electronic warfare (EW) technology that the United States has developed in recent years it is entirely feasible for enemy military radars to be “spoofed” by phantom objects. One such EW developed by the Pentagon is Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) which can create deceptive signals on enemy radar systems of incoming warheads.

What we contend therefore is this: the Americans exploited a brink-of-war scenario in which they anticipated Iranian air-defense systems to be on a hair-trigger. Add to this tension an assault by electronic warfare on Iranian military radars in which it would be technically feasible to distort a civilian airliner’s data as an offensive target. The Iranian military has claimed this was the nature of the shoot-down error. It seems plausible given the existing electronic warfare used by the Pentagon.

It’s a fair, albeit nefarious, bet that the flight paths out of Tehran were deliberately put in an extremely dangerous position by the malicious assault from American electronic warfare. A guy placed on the ground scoping the outward flight paths – times known by publicly available schedules – would be thus on hand to catch the provoked errant missile shot.

The shoot-down setup would explain why Western intelligence were so quick to confidently assert what happened, contradicting Iran’s initial claims of a technical onboard plane failure.

The disaster has gravely undermined the Iranian government, both at home and around the world. Protests have erupted in Iran denouncing the authorities and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp for “lying” about the crash. Most of the 176 victims were Iranian nationals. The anger on the streets is being fueled by the public comments of Western leaders like Donald Trump, who no doubt see the clamor and recriminations as an opportunity to push harder for regime change in Iran.



12 responses to “Iran Disaster Setup”

  1. Yep, This is one of the weird things surrounding the incident. Almost immediately western propaganda news channels were saying it must have been a missile and “Iran accidentally shot down the plane”… as if someone had told them to emphasize on saying “Accidentally”… this shows foreknowledge. There are also traitors in Iranian government no doubt.

    The news however today is of the millions of Iraqis on the streets asking for US to leave. One banner said “Leave to Live!”, seems like after the Supreme Leaders second speech of the Friday Prayer in Arabic we are going to see more of these anti-us demonstrations all over the middle-east, this can be marked as the beginning of the end of US occupation. Now these are the real Iraqis, that Trump can’t see.

  2. This video does not correspond the slightest against two other videos of a small explosion at the airliner and a gradual descent before impact. Most likely, Iran took the blame in order to avoid any further escalation and possible conflict with the US.

  3. Is the author of this article Jewish by chance?

  4. But the big question which many people on social media are asking is: why was this “videographer” standing in a derelict industrial area outside Tehran at around six o’clock in the morning with a mobile phone camera training on a fixed angle to the darkened sky?

    When was the last time U took a video, using Ur cell phone, and NOT have issues with the video capture? Dude… the FIX is in 2 pop off WW3. Do WE have the will 2 STOP IT.

  5. Probabay Massad. Like 9/11 they film everything and it is all highly coordinated with their mockingbird contingent embedded in the US media. If Iranian nuclear scientists were on the plane as some rumors are saying, that would be all the motive needed for such a setup. But why would the Iranian authorities not blow the whistle? It could be because Israeli intelligence hacked into communications lines, or someone was paid off, to give the missile battery operators the order to fire. The plane was certainly hacked and went into a blackout mode and off course for about 4 minutes before the missile struck. The Iranians did not do that. Either US, or Israel, or both. If Innanian communications are so vulnerable, they would likely play up the “accident” routine. Otherwise they look weak to their own people and to the rest of the world, and also they would be required then to retaliate again and end up in the war they do not want. In any case it now looks like it was not an accident, and among other innocent people trying to get out of the country, 65 Canadians were killed, most likely by the bloodthirsty Americans and Israelis, who don’t give a damn about anything but their own screwed-up interests. It is simply murder. The world ought to embargo and boycott both nations until they stand down and make amends. .

  6. Nariman would be a woman. It’s a girl’s name.

  7. Those 65 “Canadians” are Iranian nationals. Dual citizens. If those citizens were Nuclear scientists , then that begs the question, What is Canada’s involvement in the Iranian Nuclear program ?

    In 2012, Canada abandoned diplomatic ties with Iran and closed its embassy in Tehran.
    “Iran’s hard-liners have nothing restraining them from trying to seize control of Iraq, intensify the Syrian conflict, wreak worse havoc on Yemen and fight a more or less direct conflict with Israel in Syria,” writes Saunders, and adds: Any last vestige of control and stability in the region had held on by a slender thread. That thread, until May 8, was known as the Iran deal.

  8. My advice:

    If you’re about to read something, always check the source:
    If it’s from ‘Haaretz On The Hudson’ – aka NY Times – then don’t think twice: BIN IT!!!

  9. Have read several pieces written by Finian Cunningham, mostly a waste of time, but this is outright stupid. If there had been the slightest chance of the Iranian military being hacked or infiltrated they would have cried out immediately instead the lied for four days while investigating and finally admitted that it was a mistake. I honestly don’t understand why anyone would write trash like this and why it is published at all.

  10. The 65 Canadians were not the alleged nuclear scientists but simply Canadians but to the American authorities if they did it they would probably be just collateral damage.

  11. Article does not mention MEK or Canadian history of subverting foreign countries.