Iranian regime propagandist Ali-Akbar Raefipour during Hajj

Iranian Regime Propagandist Barred From Leaving Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, 07/11/2023

Saudi Arabia has barred Iranian regime propagandist Ali-Akbar Raefipour from leaving the country as he tried to return to Iran after Hajj pilgrimage.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani confirmed the report on Monday, adding that he was not arrested, and Iran's embassy is trying to settle the problem.

Unconfirmed reports say Raefipour was arrested at Jeddah airport because of using a fake passport; however, Masaf Institute, founded and directed by Raefipour, denied all "rumors" about the reason for the travel ban, saying he had entered Saudi Arabia legally, and is currently staying at Iran's consulate in Jeddah.

It also claimed that Raefipour was prevented from leaving Jeddah “without any explanations.”

Hardliner Raefipour who promotes apocalyptic views based on Shiite eschatology and the coming of promised savior Mahdi is known for his conspiracy theories.

He was among the hardliners who launched a propaganda campaign to convince the public that the Coronavirus crisis was caused by a specific strain of the virus used by the United States against Iran as a "bioterror attack".

Raefipour has consistently supported the bloody crackdown on protests in Iran which began with the death in custody of Mahsa Amini in mid-September, inciting violence and hatred online.

In late 2022, the IRGC-affiliated media activist's Twitter account was blocked after he threatened anti-government protesters on the social media platform.

Raefipour wrote in a tweet on December 6 that "If you want to lose your life, join the street protests, especially if you have a beautiful face".

He further claimed that the calls for nationwide protests and strikes were aimed at “creating deaths”.

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