Since its launch in 2012, Al-Monitor has turned into a PR website for the Iranian regime. Majority of its Iranian columnists are regime's pundits, former officials, oil consultants and lobbyists
Al-Monitor is a Washington based website launched in January 2012 that calls itself “the pulse of the Middle East.” The main site, which is in English is divided by region, or “pulses”—like “Iran Pulse,” “Turkey Pulse,” and others.
- The Washington Post has called Al-“an invaluable Web-only publication following the Middle East,” and The Huffington Post said that Al-Monitor is “increasingly a daily must-read for insightful commentary on the Middle East.”
The investigative journalist Lee Smith has written a detailed story about Al-Monitor and explains how the website's articles and reports are in large majority in favor of the Syrian regime and its terrorist ally Hezbollah. He writes:
"Observers assert that the arguments and positions of the Assad government receive heavy coverage in the site’s “Lebanon Pulse” section, with an emphasis on translated material from pro-Hezbollah, pro-Assad media outlets as well as original content produced for Al-Monitor by writers who also work for pro-Hezbollah, pro-Assad media.
Until Al-Monitor was founded, pro-Hezbollah journalists could only publish in resistance media outlets. In Al-Monitor, by contrast, their work is printed alongside reporting and analysis that falls within the mainstream of public policy discourse. Several of Al-Monitor’s critics point specifically to August 2011, when Al-Monitor’s founder and owner, a Syrian-born businessman named Jamal Daniel, bought a large share of As-Safir—a Beirut daily newspaper that the New York Times has variously described as a “pro-Assad Lebanese newspaper,” and “a left-leaning publication that often supports the pro-Assad Lebanese group Hezbollah."
Smith details how Al-Monitor mirrors and legitimizes the pro-Assad and pro-Hezbollah positions. Al-Monitor's owner is the Syrian Born Jamal Daniel, president and chairman of Crest Investment Company in Texas, mostly involved in energy sector. Daniel's biography and his ties to the Syrian regime are detailed by numerous press articles. For example, you can read reports by Marc Tracy and Lee Smith.
Regarding the website's "Turkey Pulse", one does not have to be an expert to understand that the majority of reports and articles criticize Turkey's policy of supporting the Syrian opposition. A recent article titled: "Most Turks Do Not Support Erdogan's Syria Policy" could be described as Al-Monitor's position.
Al-Monitor's advocacy on behalf of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah is accompanied by a clear and unequivocal bias in favor of the Iranian regime. The absolute majority of Iranian columnists who write for Al-Monitor's "Iran Pulse" are pundits associated with Iranian regime. Here are some examles:
Seyed Hossein Mousavian writes regularly in Al-Monitor. He is the former Iranian ambassador to Germany in the 1990s when the embassy was the operating center for the regime's terrorism abroad. The infamous Mykonos killing of Kurdish leaders in Berlin was one of them. (See video documentary)
Mousavian who is currently a fellow at Princeton university, dedicates his time and energy in defending the Iranian regime and its nuclear policy. His articles in Al-Monitor are part of his pro-Tehran campaign.
Bijan Khajehpour is also a regular writer in Al-Monitor. Khajehpour is the founder and chairman of Atieh Group in Tehran. Atieh is a business conglomerate with diverse activities that help foreign companies do business in Iran, acts as intermediary between the company and the government, maintains close ties with the regime and has multiple joint ventures with the government. Atieh is part of the inner circle of the Iranian regime's economic mafia. Some of the Atieh's website screen shots are compiled here and show close ties between this company and the Iranian regime.
Mohammad Ali Shabani is another regular writer in Al-Monitor. He is a PhD student in London who officially works for Center for Strategic Research (CSR) in Tehran which is part of the Iranian regime's Expediency Council. Shabani's boss until June 2013 Iranian presidential election, was Hassan Rouhani, the new Iranian president.
Kayhan Barzegar and Hossein Hafezian are two other Al-Monitor's analysts. They are respectively director and senior fellow at Tehran based "Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies" which is a semi-governmental institute affiliated with the expediency Council.
These analysts and writers have turned Al-Monitor to a PR website for the Iranian regime. Their reports are similar to what is published in a governmental website in Tehran affiliated with a less brutal faction of the regime.