LIGHTNING TALK - IRAN’S DECADE OF SOFT WAR: DISSIDENTS, TROLLS, AND KHAMENEI

Simin Kargar, Harvard University

As a pariah state governed by an authoritarian regime, Iran presents one of the highly contested information domains, providing an exemplar of modern statecraft and coercion. This talk will address how diverse actors and campaigns use influence operations and disinformation in the Persian language media. Using empirical datasets and descriptive cases, the talk will illustrate the competition to subvert or bolster the Iranian regime against its domestic and international challengers -- and perhaps by necessity the regime’s attempts to retaliate against this perceived threat to its preeminence within the same domain.