Israel's Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Consulate in New York have launched a campaign against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi ahead of his arrival on Tuesday for the United Nations General Assembly in New York and his participation in a series of events.
As part of the campaign, a life-sized cardboard cutout of Raisi holding a noose was photographed next to various landmarks in Manhattan, including the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum and the Brooklyn Bridge, with the caption: "Open to everyone, except for this murderer."
Alongside the images, the text read: "The Israeli Consulate in New York presents: The top five places you can visit in New York if you're not a mass murderer under sanctions." However, not everyone at the Foreign Ministry appreciated the "trolling of Raisi," and some believe it's a juvenile gimmick, questioning how a doll with a noose would affect public opinion.
As part of the campaign, the Foreign Ministry launched its official avatar last week, created using artificial intelligence technology. It was designed in the likeness of David Saranga, the head of the digital division at the ministry, who initiated the project. A video was uploaded to social media featuring Saranga's avatar, criticizing Raisi's visit to New York and explaining the significance of the campaign against him.
The Israeli Consulate explained the move, "The President of Iran, also known as 'the Butcher of Tehran' for his role in the killing of thousands of Iranians, is arriving in New York today. These are just some of the life-sized cartoon figures that we have placed throughout New York to warn locals that Raisi is prohibited from visiting New York's iconic sites due to sanctions against him for human rights violations."
The consulate further conveyed that "while Iran is trying to normalize its reputation by having Raisi participate in several events at the hotel and its embassy, we wanted to remind them that no PR efforts can conceal Raisi's crimes against humanity."
A senior official at the Foreign Ministry indicated that "the aim is to troll Raisi. The Iranians are trying to put on a show that everything is fine. He will speak before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), one of the most prestigious research institutes in the U.S., meet privately with bloggers and influencers at the Hilton Millennium Hotel, and speak at the UN as if business were as usual, when in reality he is under sanctions and can only move between the airport, the UN building, and his hotel. Our goal is to convey this message to the public. The aim is to convey the message that Raisi is not legitimate."
The Foreign Ministry stated: "This is an initiative of the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem in partnership with the Consulate in New York. Its aim is to repeatedly remind the global public who the President of Iran is: a brutal murderer commonly referred to by his own people and the international community as 'the Butcher of Tehran,' responsible for killing thousands of innocent citizens while serving as Prosecutor General.
"While the Ayatollah regime is trying to create an illusion of 'normality' during Raisi's visit to New York, the Foreign Ministry has decided to emphasize the message that Raisi is subject to international sanctions, because of which he cannot move freely in New York, a city where world leaders enjoy visiting, which is closed off to him."
The ministry emphasized that "all the planned meetings will have to take place in the hotel where he is staying. The placement of the cartoon figures, their photography, dissemination, and uploading to social networks are part of a broader online campaign that the Foreign Ministry is conducting around the anniversary of the death of Mohsen Amin and Raisi's speech at the UN General Assembly."
The coincidence of these two events in the same week allows us to reiterate to the world the message that the Iranian regime is a murderous regime, violating human rights, and that it is impossible to reconcile with Iran's nuclear aspirations."
First published: 14:19, 09.19.23