London, 16 Aug – The Iranian Regime, like so many other authoritarian regimes, has recruited a popular music star to spread Islamic values to the youth as part of its propaganda machine against Western values, but this has backfired completely with many Iranians now boycotting the star.
Amir-Hossein Maghsoud¬loo, a 33-year-old rapper better known as “Tataloo”, was twice imprisoned by the Regime for “encouraging [moral] corruption” with his music videos but now produces music and related content with nationalist and reli¬gious themes.
For example, during the negotiation stage of the nuclear deal, Tataloo released a video filmed upon an Iranian Navy destroyer, titled “An Armed Persian Gulf is our Inalienable Right” which correlated perfectly with the Regime’s mantra of “peaceful nuclear energy [is Iran’s] inalienable right”.
He has since publically endorsed candidates in the sham elections in Iran and even attempted to deflect criticism about his new role as a mouthpiece for the Regime by claiming that he gets his information from a friend at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Ali Alfoneh, a non-resident senior fellow at Rafik Hariri Centre for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council, wrote an op-ed for UPI in which he examined the situation.
He wrote: “The marriage of convenience between Tataloo and the regime or, in less generous terms, the IRGC taking advantage of a rap artist for propaganda purposes, is a clever move by the regime. The IRGC is ef¬fectively turning rap music, which it had perceived as a threat, into a propaganda tool.”
Why is the Regime doing this?
The Iranian Regime not only views Western pop culture as an “onslaught” against Iran’s traditional culture and values but also as part of a plot to mobilise the young people of Iran against their overlords.
There is one vital flaw with that analysis. The Iranian youth do not need Western music or movies to show them that the Regime is brutal and cruel. They already know it.
Alfoneh highlighted that young people in Iran are unlikely to be swayed easily by rap music when they can see the very real and damaging effects that the Regime is having on their country; in fact, the very notion is insulting to their intelligence.
He wrote: “There are limits to what propa¬ganda can do. In Iran, the real problems are youth unemploy¬ment, narcotics abuse, poverty, broken or dysfunctional families, prostitution, a corrupt political and economic culture and brain drain as talented young Iranians flee the country in pursuit of a better life.”
He concluded: “These are the social ills for which the Islamic Republic must be held responsible and no amount of propaganda can deflect attention from it.”