Was Michael Jackson Killed By Iran?

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“Section One On the 25th June, 2009, the “King of Pop” – Michael Jackson – was found dead in his LA

mansion The coroner ruled it was “involuntary manslaughter”, caused by a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs But many – including his own daughter, Paris – dismissed this as a cover up The same day that Michael Jackson died, Iran experienced its most serious political unrest in decades The results of its Presidential election were widely contested

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Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets, convinced the election had been rigged As The Telegraph newspaper reported, “The King of Pop’s death was perfectly timed for the wobbling Iranian regime… Just as reports of its post-election clampdown were provoking howls of protest in the West… Jacko’s death sucked media attention from Persia to Bel Air” Spookily, the night before he died, Jackson told his son Prince, ‘They’re going to kill me’ Could he have been talking about the Iranian government? Did Iran Kill Michael Jackson? On the 12th June 2009, two weeks before Jackson’s sudden death, Iran went to the polls to vote for their next President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the controversial incumbent, was battling it out against three political challengers

Opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi was touted as a surefire win But the results told a very different story Little more than an hour after polls closed, the government-owned Islamic Republic News Agency reported that Ahmadinejad had won in a landslide, with 62% of the vote This result was so suspicious, Mousavi and his supporters said the government rigged the election In previous elections, authorities had been unable to call the result until the following day

But this time, the state news announced the winner just two hours after polls had closed Columbia University Professor Gary Sick says it would have been impossible to count votes in this time, as Iran does not use voting machines Soon, more incriminating information emerged Pro-Mousavi websites had been blocked on election day, and inexplicable anomalies occurred – like Ahmadinejad winning easily in Mousavi’s own hometown, which supported a change in government Journalist Laura Secor said, “There can be no question that the June 12th, 2009, Iranian presidential election was stolen

” Other countries accused the Iranian government of being corrupt and put pressure on Iran to hold a second election Critics included then US President Barack Obama, who said he was “”appalled and outraged”” by Iran’s behaviour Western media agreed with him

According to the Pew Research Center, between the 22nd and 26th June, allegations that Ahmadinejad stole the election took up 19% of all news coverage Yet, within 28 hours of Jackson’s death, this had radically changed, with 60% of coverage focused on his unlikely death As attention turned away from Iran, international pressure on its government to organise a second election faded away It was not just news outlets that stopped pressuring the Iranian government Social media users also became distracted by Jackson’s sudden death, with the hashtag “Michael Jackson RIP” replacing “iranelection” as the most popular on Twitter

Social media played a crucial role in the Middle Eastern democratic movement known as the Arab Spring As The Telegraph reported, the media blackout of Iran’s election in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death, “effectively killed off all hopes for a revolution” Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the International Campaign for Human Rights, noted that this reduced coverage had “a great impact on how the [Iranian] government treats the protesters” No longer being monitored, the government’s bloody violence against protesters increased dramatically An anonymous doctor in Tehran told The Guardian that casualties soared after Jackson’s death

He said, “The official statistic is 20 dead – that’s wrong In our hospital alone there were 38 riot deaths in the first week Most died from gunshot wounds… Now it seems Michael Jackson’s death has made the world forget Iran The Iranian regime has a long and perturbing history of murder for political gain As PBS journalist Muhammad Sahimi writes, “The history of political assassinations in Iran is almost as old as the nation itself”

This includes the infamous “chain murders” where the country’s Ministry of Intelligence murdered over 80 dissidents and intellectuals in a 10 year campaign that began in 1988 They therefore have the capabilities and experience to kill Michael Jackson However, there is no direct link between the Iranian government and the King of Pop If he was murdered, there are a number of other candidates with much more obvious motivations for doing so than the Iranian government This includes Randy Phillips, the CEO of tour group AEG Live

Michael’s son Prince Jackson said his father’s famous fear “they” were going to kill him came after a conversation with Randy Phillips But even this theory is lacking serious evidence Jackson’s shocking death did effectively sideline other news for weeks Given that he was the 4th biggest selling artist of all time, with a music career spanning over four decades, this is hardly surprising As it dominated headlines, former Pentagon official Michael Rubin stated, “It’s a sad commentary that celebrity still trumps national security in news coverage, but that’s the world we live in

” Jackson’s death was unexpected But both of the autopsy reports established the same cause Dr Conrad Murray administered the fatal dose of propofol to treat Jackson’s insomnia It could easily have been an accident Murray had no connection to Iran or the Middle East

Moreover, the Iranian government could not have foreseen the scale of protest that followed the election Planning the homicide of one of the most famous and protected celebrities of all time on the other side of the world, would be a highly complex operation Iran’s intelligence agency is twice as large as the CIA Yet, in the midst of political uproar following Ahmadinejad’s re-election, working out how to kill Michael Jackson was unlikely to be a priority The evidence that the Iranian government killed Michael Jackson is very limited

The timing is probably just coincidence But Jackson’s death had a very real and disturbing impact on Iran’s future The more interesting question might be – as CNN asked – “Did Michael Jackson’s death kill the Iranian revolution?”

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