PHOTO: Qom — Iran’s religious city or centre of a dastardly plot with agents in black?

Readers opening their copy of the Washington Post on Sunday will have been shocked to learn of a new threat engulfing the entire Western Hemisphere.

Intrepid reporter Joby Warrick has discovered the terrifying plot of the Islamic Republic to subvert the West….

“With Lure of Religious Classes, Iran Seeks to Recruit Latin Americans”

Warwick leaves no stone unturned in his quest for The Truth, even if it means that Post readers had to spend a fearful Sunday, sipping lattes and nibbling nervously at their all-butter croissants, as they waded through four pages about Mexican students in the holy city of Qom.

[Editor’s Note: For those readers who do not have time to all four pages of Warwick’s in-depth report, we have condensed it — see feature below — by taking out unnecessary adjectives and leaving only the all-important scary words and phrases.]

Warrick’s “exclusive” details Tehran’s menace to Hispanics, “Latin countries”, and, of course, the US, with masterly innuendo, hyperbole, leaps of supposed logic, and near-panic. This is an initiative that is so terrifying, so treacherous and so shrouded in evil that it takes at least three appeals to authority by “U.S. officials” to explain it.

This is the story of “Carlos”, an innocent Mexican boy lured to Iran after he speaks to a diplomat at a party. He was whisked away, not to a “school” or “university”, but to a “madrassa” — because all top journalists know that Arabic words are scarier than English ones.

There, in the “madrassa”, were other Spanish-speaking students including — alarmingly — “Muslim converts”.

“US officials and experts” who — while unnamed — assure that such courses of study are “part of a larger effort by Iran to expand its influence in the Western Hemisphere by building a network of supporters and allies in America’s backyard”.

The location of the danger? “Qom, the center for Shiite theological study for half a millennium.”

And there is more treachery: Warrick says Iran iscarrying out “direct outreach to Latin countries through the construction of mosques and cultural centers”.

But wait — aren’t “Latin countries” Catholic? Warrick tells us that Iran has taken advantage of this with “a new cable TV network that broadcasts Iranian programming in Spanish”, including a “dramatic series that brings an Islamic perspective to the Christian story of Mary, the mother of Jesus”.

In case you are naive enough to to think this is all gossip and exaggerations, Warrick turns to “regional experts” to help us understand:

Such “soft power” initiatives are mainly political, intended in particular to strengthen Tehran’s foothold in countries such as Venezuela and Ecuador, which share similar anti-American views. But in some cases, Iranian officials have sought to enlist Latin Americans for espionage and even hacking operations targeting U.S. computer systems, according to U.S. and Latin American law-enforcement and intelligence officials.

So how, given that Iran has been bringing students to the Islamic Republic for many years, did Warrick uncover the true story of “espionage and even hacking operations”?

Back to the main source, a claimed student at the university in the Shiite City Of Qom: “Carlos travelled to the United States in 2012 to make an asylum application, after strangers with Middle Eastern features asked for him at his parents’ home in Mexico.”

Strangers. With Middle Eastern features.

Warrick does not elaborate on whether the “Middle Eastern features” were Arab or Persian or perhaps Turkish (presumably they were not Jewish). All dangerous agents from that area of the world look the same, after all.

Like “Hispanics” and people from the “Western Hemisphere”.

But maybe the threat is even larger. Is it only Iran who carries out these cunning plots by offering courses of study that are really “soft power” efforts?

Warrick has another revelation for us: other countries use this technique.

Which countries? Perhaps North Korea? Or maybe Cuba? Could it be Syria? Surely not….Putin’s Russia?


“The State Department spends millions of dollars annually on officially sponsored U.S. travel for foreign students as well as budding journalists, politicians and civic leaders.”


With lure of religious classes, Iran seeks to recruit Latin Americans
By Joby Warwick

[Abridged Version With Only Scare Words And Appeals To Authority

Iran’s top diplomat in Mexico.
mysterious school
guest of the Islamic Republic.
Iranian madrassa
new Muslim converts
subject to an immersion course
anti-Americanism and Islam
brief Iranian adventure
unusual outreach program by Iran
targets young adults
countries south of the U.S. border
Latin Americans
Iranian religion and culture,
man who is wanted internationally on terrorism charges

[APPEAL TO AUTHORITY: U.S. officials and experts]

larger effort by Iran
expand its influence in the Western Hemisphere
a network of supporters and allies
America’s backyard
recruitment of foreign students
special study inside Iran
direct outreach to Latin countries
construction of mosques
Iranian programming in Spanish.

[APPEAL TO AUTHORITY: Regional experts]

strengthen Tehran’s foothold in Venezuela and Ecuador
similar anti-American views.
enlist Latin Americans
hacking operations targeting U.S. computer systems

[APPEAL TO AUTHORITY: U.S. and Latin American law-enforcement and intelligence officials]

“local clandestine intelligence networks” organized by Iran
religious and cultural programs as cover
terrorist attacks decided by the Islamic regime.”

Iranian cleric and government official, Mohsen Rabbani
accused by Argentina
1994 bombing of a Jewish community center
deadliest terrorist attack


[We had to leave this entire sentence intact, as every word is a scare word and it could not be abridged]

Rabbani has made no secret of his interest in drawing in young Latin Americans who admire Iran’s fiery defiance of the West.

Latin American terrorism
drug-trafficking networks
Foreign students
subjected them
theological and political indoctrination
committed disciples.

strange odyssey
Oriental Thought Cultural Institute
ancient city of Qom.
alleged ties to terrorism in Argentina and elsewhere
tireless proponent of exporting Iran’s Islamic revolution to the Spanish-speaking world.
shattered “the American myth”
Iran’s vision of revolutionary Islam.

Target of suspicion
Shiite theological study
Spanish-speaking students

rigorous schedule
European converts
in the thrall of.. religious teachers.
United States manipulating the economy for its own benefit.

Iran’s broad outreach

[APPEAL TO AUTHORITY: U.S. officials (who now “worry”]

Iran more than doubled the number of embassies in Latin America
HispanTV network beams daily into millions of Spanish-speaking households

Islamic perspective to the Christian story of Mary, the mother of Jesus

[Readers of a nervous disposition may wish to skip over this scare word] [Sorry]

at the expense of the United States.

sponsorship of terrorism
controversial nuclear program.
ruling clerics
Iranian Embassy.

strangers with Middle Eastern features

too afraid to return home