A controversial reporter with the ultraconservative "Kayhan" daily has been praised
as Iran's first soft-war hero.
Payam Fazlinejad, who was attacked last month
by unknown assailants, was described as Iran's first soft-war "janbaz" (someone who sacrifices his or her life) during a conference titled "The Celebration of Eight Months of Cyberwar" held in Tehran earlier this week. Janbaz is used in Iran to refer to those who were wounded in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.
Following the attack on Fazlinejad, the head of the semi-official Fars news agency said that Fazlinejad's writing had shed light on the true nature of the "sedition" movement and that as a writer he's been fighting in the soft-war sphere against those opposed to the Iranian establishment. He suggested that Fazlinejad's attackers are those who have been damaged by his writings.
At the ceremony, Fazlinejad, who appeared with his head bandaged
, blasted the Green Movement, which he said has a "Freemason" nature and added that former President Mohammad Khatami is also a Freemason.
Fazlinejad, who is said to have links
to the intelligence agencies, is known for his hard-line views and his attacks on reformists, whom he accuses of being foreign agents.
Following last year's disputed presidential vote, Fazlinejad has often referred ironically to the opposition press and dissidents as "nato-cultural," in an allusion to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.