All posts tagged: looks of their emails

Iran’s Influence Operation Pays Off

Iran’s Influence Operation Pays Off

When news comes out that someone has suffered an email breach, my first instinct is to pity them and practice extreme charity. I don’t remember any emails I wrote a decade ago, but I’m sure there’s something in there appalling enough to sour my relationships with every friend, ex, or co-worker I ever had. Give me your email password, and I will ruin your career. This week, the careers in jeopardy belong to a handful of Americans and Europeans who were, by the looks of their emails, groomed by the Iranian government to promote conciliatory policies toward Tehran. According to reports by Semafor and Iran International, Iranian foreign-policy bigwigs such as Mohammad Javad Zarif identified think-tank staffers of Iranian origin, sponsored meetings with them, and used the group to coordinate and spread messages helpful to Iran. The emails, which date from 2014, suggest that those in their group—the “Iran Experts Initiative”—reacted to Iranian outreach in a range of ways, including cautious engagement and active coordination. The Iranian government then paid expenses related to this group’s …