Iran has been quietly financing and influencing newspapers in the Arab world.
Arab diplomatic sources said a range of Arab newspapers and media have received funds from the Teheran regime. The sources said that over the last six months the media outlets have expressed enthusiastic support for Iran and Hizbullah.
The sources said Iran has also infiltrated the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood and its satellites. They cited such groups as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
“There has been infiltration of independent newspapers in Egypt and a number of them have began to publish columns slandering the companions and wives of the prophet, influenced by the traditional Shia message about the main companions of the prophet as well as Aisha,” columnist Hussein Shobokshi wrote in the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily.
The Iranian funding has resulted in a series of television programs that promote Shi’ism. The sources cited “Ibn Al Rashid,” a Syrian-Jordanian production that was one of the most popular in the Arab world in 2006.
In Sudan, the late journalist Mohammed Taha adopted Shi’ite views. Taha was killed by Al Qaida-aligned assassins in September 2006.
“There are alarming signs of Iranian activity on Arab and Islamic territories,” A-Sharq Al Awsat said. “Such activity needs to be understood and studied accurately in order to learn of other objectives.”