Sometimes you get to wondering about emails you receive — especially in the political blogsphere. One email which ended up in my inbox has got me to thinking: Is this a legitimate email, a plea for help from genuine Iranian dissidents, some crazy rant/fatwa by Islamists, or yet another in a string of Internet scams?
The subject line of the email is “(( raahbare mellate iran agha pro.ebrahim mirzaie)),” which obviously pertains to Iran, and is, I believe, written in a transliteration of Farsi/Persian.
The email has a brief introduction, “(( payame sazmane alame hagh va edalat be raahbarie Yeganeh nejat dahandeye mellate iran AghA Pro. Dr. Ebrahim Mirzaie raahbar )). All’s I can glean from this is that the email has something to do with a certain Dr. Ebrahim Mirzaie.
Attached to this email is some type of official statement:
Click to enlarge
I traced the originating email addresses, and they are not “spoofed.” The statement image shown above is hosted by TinyPic.com, which:
…is a very simple, fast, reliable free image host. It is perfect for linking to auctions, message boards, journals, and other websites. TinyPic lives on a fully redundant, load balanced web cluster that should guarantee maximum uptime and performance. There is no registration or login, all you have to do is submit your picture.
One forum’s users, on dslreports.com, speculate on the email, as they also have received it. For example, “clank” says:
It looks like some type of islamic fundamentalist propaganda, send it to various federal agencies.
while “MGD” states:
This may or may not be valid, however it appears that you did not receive the text for the email. That picture has been circulated supposedly by a group of Iranian dissidents. They are complaining about the brutality of the Iranian government and asking for help. Here is the English version of the text that is usually included:
Subject: (( Yeganeh nejat dahandeye mellate iran AghA Pro. Dr. Ebrahim
Mirzaie raahbar ))
Dear Madams and Sirs we, who are sending this informations for you, are a group of iranian so called dissidents. Our nation is being oppressed, tortured and murdered by a cruel regime of mollahs, which contempts human beings and destroys our lifes and the time of our life. Day by day they trample on our human rights, gives us disinformations or don´t give us informations at all. The ways which we have for getting informations or to spread them like internet becomes reduced constantly. More than one hundred persons of our organization ALAME HAGH VA EDALAT (The Banner of Right an Justice) were imprisoned and tortured. Even those who released or are outside of prison are persecuted by the cruel regime of the mollahs. Many of the members of ALAME HAGH VA EDALAT are refugees inside their own country. Because we don´t let take us in a special tendency of politics, religion or idelogy, but working for a world of life in dignity out of those outdated ideas and limits we are until now not supported from anybody. Because of our situation we couldn´t translate our informations into another language. For more informations please contact this e-mail adress: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both this copy and the one listed in your copy(188.8.131.52)do show originating from an IP in Iran.
I tried my hand at translating both the transliterated text and the Farsi(?), but ended up more confused than I started. For example, the word “Iranian” looks like this is Farsi:
I’ve emailed several Iranian colleagues, asking for their help. But if anyone out there can read this letter, please post comments below.
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