US warns: Iran influencing, funding local anti-Israel protests

The White House says the aim is “stoke divisions” before the November elections, and deemed it “unacceptable.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Iran is influencing and funding anti-Israel protests in the United States as part of its attempt to fuel divisiveness in the country before the November elections, the White House said Tuesday, calling the campaign “unacceptable.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that while “The freedom to express diverse views when done peacefully is essential to our democracy,” Americans have to be warned so that they can “guard against efforts by foreign powers to take advantage of or coopt their legitimate protest activities.”

“The U.S. government has a duty to warn Americans about foreign malign influences,” she said, pointing an accusing finger at Iran.

The administration knows that the Islamic Republic is using covert means to “meddle in our internal affairs and attempt to amplify conflict,” she stated.

“Meddling in our politics and seeking to stoke division is unacceptable,” she added, in what she called “a firm message from here to Iran and any other foreign actor that seek to conduct these types of influence activities.”

The White House comments came after Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines warned that “We have observed actors tied to Iran’s government posing as activists online, seeking to encourage protests, and even providing financial support to protesters.”

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“Iran is becoming increasingly aggressive in their foreign influence efforts, seeking to stoke discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions, as we have seen them do in the past, including in prior election cycles,” the director’s statement said. “They continue to adapt their cyber and influence activities, using social media platforms and issuing threats.”

An official in Haines’ office added that Iran had an enduring interest in trying to “inflame social division” and embarrass the country whom its leaders refer to as “the Great Satan.”

Anti-Israel demonstrations have exploded throughout the world as protestors focus on the destruction in Gaza while downplaying the fact that Hamas and other terrorists caused the ongoing war by invading of Israel on October 7th, massacring 1,200 people, taking 252 hostage, and promising to do more of the same whenever they could.

MAny protests have been marked with calls for Israel’s elimination, and violent rhetoric and even attacks against local Jews.

Protests in top American universities during the recent spring semester especially caught the media’s attention, as illegal encampments took over central areas of campuses and the administrations responded very weakly to such illicit activities as breaking into buildings, defacing school property, and verbal and physical assaults on Jewish students and faculty.

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When police were finally called in, they found that many of those they arrested were outside, paid agitators, not students.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei praised the students lavishly in May for joining the Tehran-led “Axis of Resistance” against the Jewish state and persevering against their government’s “ruthless pressure” against them.