A new website called "Radio Yesterday
" (Radio Dirooz) has been launched in Iran in an apparent effort to counter RFE/RL's Persian-language Radio Farda, which means Radio Tomorrow in Persian.
"Radio Dirooz" says it aims to review and criticize the work of Radio Farda. The website selects and summarizes reports of Radio Farda or comments by experts and reposts them, recast and with its own spin. It claims
, for example, that Radio Farda has been trying like "other media associated with the movement that claims support for democracy" to suggest there have been differences between Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad while "rejoicing" over it.
"Radio Dirooz" has been registered by an individual named Javid Arabshahi, who has registered some 50 other domains, including the website of Iran's hard-line "Hezbollah" in the city of Gonabad.
The editor of Radio Farda's website, Fred Petrossian, suggests that "the time and effort" invested in the newly launched website demonstrates "the impact" Radio Farda is having.
"Radio Dirooz modifies some of the content of our reports to match their goals. They're obviously investing a lot of time in this," Petrossian says.
Last year, Iran's Culture Ministry published a book
on Radio Farda that described it as part of a "soft war" against the Islamic republic.