The Iranian Revolutionary Guard accused Kim Kardashian West of acting as a secret agent on behalf of Instagram to influence Muslim women with photos portraying scenes contradictory to the teachings of Islam.
Mostafa Alizadeh, spokesman for the guard’s Organized Cyberspace Crimes Unit, told the Iran Wire that Kardashian West is involved in an elaborate scheme to target "young people and women" in Tehran.
"Ms. Kim Kardashian is a popular fashion model so Instagram’s CEO tells her, ‘make this native,’" Alizadeh said. "There is no doubt that financial support is involved as well. We are taking this very seriously."
Kardashian West’s paternal grandparents emigrated to the United States from Armenia, which borders Iran, in the late 19th century.
The Revolutionary Guard has been pursuing a surveillance program called "Operation Spider 2" to target social media pages that authorities deem vulgar, including those posting photos of women without a headscarf.
Iranian police have identified roughly 170 people under the program, the Associated Press reported Monday, citing Iranian TV. Eight were arrested this week in a revived crackdown on "un-Islamic acts" while another 29 are being targeted for prosecution.
The Organized Cyberspace Crimes Unit has so far arrested individuals connected with about 350 Facebook pages as part of the probe, according to Vanity Fair.
Those accounts were accused of "promoting a culture of promiscuity, weakening and rejecting the institution of family, ridiculing religious values and beliefs, promoting relationships outside moral rules, and publishing the private pictures of young women."
Neither Instagram nor Kardashian West has commented publicly on the accusations.