I can’t say that the possibility of Secret Agent Kim ever crossed my mind, but the world is wide and full of wonders.
Vanity Fair reports that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp, “an agency tasked with policing domestic culture and heading off the influence of other nations, is concerned about the social-media popularity of Kim Kardashian.” In fact, their concern runs so deep that they have accused her of purposeful corruption.
Mostafa Alizadeh, spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard’s Organized Cyberspace Crime Unit, explains to Iran Wire that their surveillance of Kardashian and other models with significant social media platforms, falls under the purview of “Operation Spider 2.” Their object: to eliminate content deemed incompatible with Islamic values and to punish the so-called offenders.
Here’s Alizadeh, via Iran Wire:
“‘[Foreign powers] are targeting young people and women,’ he said. ‘Foreigners are behind it because it is targeting families. These schemes originate from around the Persian Gulf and England. When you draw the operational graph, you will see that it is a foreign operation.’
The aim of Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom, he said, is to make fashion modeling native to Iran, and Kim Kardashian is implementing his scheme for him. ‘Ms. Kim Kardashian is a popular fashion model, so Instagram’s CEO tells her, ‘make this native,’ Alizadeh said. ‘There is no doubt that financial support is involved as well. We are taking this very seriously.’”
According to Vanity Fair, the Unit purports to “have arrested individuals responsible for some 350 Facebook pages.”Iranian entertainer Elham Arab has already “been featured in what appears to be a forced confession.” One hundred and seventy more individuals have received warnings from the Revolutionary Guard, and 29 of those “are being targeted for prosecution.” Altogether, the investigation seems pretty scary.
When the Organized Cyberspace Crime Unit blocks a social media account, Iran Wire reports, they replace it with “a large blue frame with the caption ‘These pages are blocked by the authority of Operation Spider 2 to open security cases by order of the judiciary.’”
Kardashian is the granddaughter of Armenian immigrants, a country sharing a border with Iran. Perhaps this cultural linkage intensifies the Revolutionary Guard’s antipathy towards her, though current reports make no mention of it.
A number of condemned Instagram accounts remain accessible, but their owners have fled Iran. And as for Arab — her “confession” is heartbreaking in its self-effacement.
“All girls want to marry and live happily,” she says before a camera, “But if you ask [men] if they would marry [a model], 90 percent would say no.”
Unsurprisingly, Kardashian’s Twitter and Instagram accounts make no mention of the accusations levied at her.
Image via Getty.