(Photo Credit : CEN)
Hassan Firouzi, who, according to western media and human rights activists, was allegedly tortured into a coma, was caught in an attempt to flee Iran via the sea on 27 January, reports Press TV.
On 22 January, Saudi-funded Iran International reported that Firouzi fell into a coma due to bleeding and the lack of access to treatment. Images show him bruised and unconscious.
Meanwhile, Iranian state media reports Firouzi was caught in “a completely sound and healthy state.”
Firouzi admitted to creating the fake story of his arrest, death sentence, and torture due to the large amounts of money he owed to other people in an attempt to escape his lenders in Iran, capitalizing on the anti-Iran coverage in the west.
“His story is an archetypal example of how the Western media, the extension of the Western military-industrial complex, has brazenly manipulated and distorted the truth about events unfolding in the country to push the time-worn “regime change” agenda,” writes Syed Zafar Mehdi for Press TV.
A YouTube channel affiliated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) shared videos that Firouzi himself provided and was used as a source by Persian-language news outlets based in the west.
Iran Human Rights Monitor (IHRM), based in France, also reported about his made-up story on 9 January, writing: “In his last call from Evin Prison, Hassan asked the Iranian people to do anything possible for him to see his daughter one last time.”
The UK’s Daily Star also ran with the story, saying: “The evil Iranian regime, headed by bloodthirsty Islamic Republic forces, is giving Hassan Firouzi medical attention only so he will look less ill for his execution.”
Neither western-funded Persian outlets nor the self-proclaimed human rights activists running the story reported about the recent updates.
The US government imposed new sanctions on Iran on 23 January, targeting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Cooperative Foundation and senior Iranian officials. The EU recently said it cannot yet brand the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
The US sanctions were in coordination with Britain and the EU to increase pressure on Iran in response to the alleged crackdown on protests since the death of Mahsa Amini in September.
The looming threat of new sanctions has pushed Iran’s national currency, the rial, shortly above the 450,000 rials per USD mark on Sunday.