Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : White House Warns Iran against Meddling in Gaza Protests in US

Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a pro-Palestine rally held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 07 July 2024. (EPA)
Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a pro-Palestine rally held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 07 July 2024. (EPA)
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White House Warns Iran against Meddling in Gaza Protests in US

Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a pro-Palestine rally held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 07 July 2024. (EPA)
Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a pro-Palestine rally held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 07 July 2024. (EPA)

The White House on Tuesday accused Tehran of trying to take advantage of Gaza-related protests in the US and described such behavior as unacceptable, following a warning by the top US intelligence official that Iran was trying to stoke discord in American society.

The warning, issued earlier on Tuesday by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, said actors tied to Iran's government had posed as activists online, sought to encourage protests regarding Gaza and even provided demonstrators with financial support.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said freedom of expression was vital to American democracy, but the government also had a duty to warn citizens about foreign influence operations.

"Americans across the political spectrum, acting in good faith, have sought to express their own independent views on the conflict in Gaza. The freedom to express diverse views when done peacefully is essential to our democracy," she said.

"At the same time, the US government has a duty to warn Americans about foreign malign influences. ... We will continue to expose attempts to undermine our democracy in our society just as we are today."

Tehran had no immediate comment.

An official with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said the warning on Iran showed how countries tried to take advantage of controversial issues in the run-up to elections, both to embarrass the US and "inflame social division."

The official, who asked not to be named, said Iran had a longstanding interest in exploiting US political and social tensions, including through social media.

"In particular, we are monitoring Iranian actors who are seeking to exacerbate tensions on the Israel-Gaza conflict," the official said.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : North Korea Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' over Leaflets from South

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
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North Korea Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' over Leaflets from South

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)

North Korea said on Tuesday that South Korea will face "devastating consequences" over anti-Pyongyang leaflets, state media KCNA said.

Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister and a senior party official, said large balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets from South Korea were found in her country, causing inconvenience to residents, Reuters reported.

"The situation seemed to be becoming unacceptable. Again I give you a stern warning," she said in a statement carried by KCNA.