In video, nabbed Iran exile says governments, such as Israel’s, can’t be trusted

In video, nabbed Iran exile says governments, such as Israel’s, can’t be trusted

Ruhollah Zam, opposition figure arrested for sparking wave of anti-revolutionary protests, forced to issue public apology

Ruholla Zam (YouTube screenshot)
Ruholla Zam (YouTube screenshot)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian state television has shown footage of Ruhollah Zam, an exiled opposition figure the Revolutionary Guards said they arrested in a “sophisticated” operation.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced the arrest of Zam on Monday, describing him as a “counter-revolutionary” who was “directed by France’s intelligence service.”

Zam reportedly lived in exile in Paris, but the Guards did not specify when or where he was arrested.

A short video clip aired by state television late Monday shows a stocky man sitting in the back of a car blindfold and handcuffed.

The same man then appears sitting in an armchair next to the flags of Iran and the Revolutionary Guards, the Islamic Republic’s ideological army.

He identifies himself as Zam and “the founder of Amadnews,” a Telegram channel that the Iranian authorities accuse of having played a major role in a wave of protests that broke out in December 2017.

University students attend an anti-regime protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by Iranian anti-riot police, in Tehran, Iran, December 30, 2017. (AP Photo)

The man then expresses regret for “what has happened in the past three or four years.”

He says he was “wrong” to have trusted governments, “in particular trusting the French government.”

As he speaks in the second clip, the man does not appear to be handcuffed and does not look directly into the camera.

“It is not right to trust governments, especially governments that show they do not have good relations with the Islamic Republic,” including the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, he said, before apologizing.

At least 25 people were killed in the unrest that his Telegram channel was accused of fomenting between December 28, 2017 and January 3, 2018.

Telegram shut down Amadnews last year after Iran demanded the messaging service remove the account for inciting an “armed uprising.”

Amnesty International has repeatedly called on Iran to stop broadcasting videos of “confessions” by suspects, saying they “violate the defendants’ rights.”

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: