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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

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The Daily Sceptic

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Irish Times Continues to Misrepresent Iranian 'Threat'

category international | arts and media | other press author Thursday July 12, 2007 19:19author by M Cotton & D Manning, MediaBite - MediaBiteauthor email editors at mediabite dot org Report this post to the editors

Why is the IT ignoring the fact that Iran's nuclear enrichment activity is entirely legal?

Iran is not in contravention of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (which the US is) and yet Iran stands accused of being a serious danger to the region - even though the most 'optimistic' projections say they are at least ten years from any possibility of developing a single nuclear bomb, if such a goal is even their intention. As compared to the gignatic arsenal of world-annihilating nuclear capability that the US already posseses, it is more than ironic that Iran should even have to begin to account for itself in the cirucmstances - let alone account for itself to the US.

We wrote to the Irish Times Editor to query its latest account of Iranian nuclear enrichment activity:


The Reuters-sourced report in today's edition of the Irish Times (12 July 2007) of the talks held with UN representatives yesterday, makes no serious attempt to put the accusations against Iran into their proper context.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is quoted exclusively in a defiant context without proper acknowledgement of the verifiable Iranian assertion that their nuclear enrichment activities are not in breach of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. This issue continues to be reported in the Irish Times as if this was not the case. The carelessness in your coverage results in marked bias in favour of the US perspective.

Compounding the bias, the report goes on to say:

"Diplomats say the United States and its European Union allies believe Iran 's offer of transparency may be little more than a bid to buy time and avert further UN measures."

Why should this unattributed, speculative observation from anonymous sources be included in the article at all if not to emphasise the notion that Iran is guilty as charged when all the evidence shows that the opposite is the case? Surely, in the interest of fairness, it should have been accompanied by an Iranian response to the accusation? As it stands it is as meaningless as it is misleading.

We wrote to you on the 4th of July to point out similar misrepresentation in a Guardian article reproduced in the Irish Times. Meanwhile, Ed Pilkington of The Guardian has written to us to agree that referring to 'Iran's nuclear weapons programme' as if it were proven to exist was misleading. He has amended the online version of the paper. So far we have had no acknowledgment from the Irish Times of our letter and your online version continues to carry the article as originally written - even though the Guardian itself has corrected it. Is this deliberate?


With deaths as a consequence of Western interventions in the Middle East now approaching a million, surely the Irish Times should pay stricter attention to the possibility of inadvertently helping to build a false case for another unwarranted and deadly war?

Yours sincerely
Miriam Cotton
(& David Manning)

Related Link: http://www.mediabite.org/
author by iosafpublication date Sat Jul 14, 2007 21:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Turkish army is shelling the Kurdistan province of Iraq right now. The Iraqis have asked them to stop, thinking that chemical Ali's hanging in the region will make everyone sweeter than liquorice. The Iranians have also shelled Kurdish positions in Iraq. As of this morning the Turkish have filed a formal request with the US government for an explanation of US supplied ordinance being used by the PKK who this afternoon moved from their positions in the Taurus mountains.
Sure everyone know that. It's plain to see. And we don't need anyone telling us about the little nougat hearts or additives in the wrappers now. If you want the best sweeties you don't leave your milk tray, black magic,quality street or any other popular example of the confectionery portfolio on the table in the lounge or livingroom. But if you stick the box under your quilt in weather like this everything except the toffees will melt and go gooey. Whereas if you put them in the refridgerator (or cooler as north americans call it) you'll break a molar on the caramel. My advice to ye all would be store them in a cool & dry place out of direct sunlight . But at end you've got to build a bit of trust with whomever you share your lounge with. If you don't give those others somesweeties they mightn't let you watch telly or eat your turkish delight. -So leave the sweets there but let them know which ones are your favourite and warn them to never ever go sneaking under the first layer of paper to get at the bottom fondant centres (should they be your favourite).

For their part the Russians who suspended all previous arms limitations understandings with the West have preferred not to directly comment on what is hoped will amount to no more than electioneering on the part of the Turkish but do sort of mention the word smack. Now smack is bad news. We've all gone through that before. Sure don't we know. don't mention it.

You're right Miriam & Dave - the Iranians are misrepresented all the time by the Irish Times and others and you know they aren't really the greatest threat to the region or the world.

author by iosaf mac d.publication date Mon Jul 16, 2007 20:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I haven't opened a thread on this topic for a variety of reasons. I'm hoping Mim & dave don't mind this information being appended to their article illustrating how Iran is mis-represented by the Irish Times and the West. Last Friday I asked regulars on the very eclectic anti-war front in Ireland to consider Kurdistan and the role its future was always going to play in the future of Iraq and peace for the region and particularly to rethink its importance given the slow but significant moves to troop withdrawl by both US and UK in the last 72 hours. http://indymedia.ie/article/83356?&condense_comments=fa...01159
That particular thread has since been closed in time honoured fashion by its author.., Since then as I reported the Turkish have massed their military in an unprecedented show of strength on the border with Kurdistan, that nugget of info has been mostly ignored by the western press with one exception - the remaining part of the "radio liberty" network have picked up on it, http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/07/51FDDAA6-C....html which to be quite frank gives little "indepedendent of CIA psy-op" credibility to the other comment I left drawing attention to the Pentagon's denial of Turkish mobilisation and complete ignorance of Ankara's demand that the use of US weapons and technology by Kurdish rebels be investigated.http://indymedia.ie/article/83356?&condense_comments=fa...01223 (background info in Radio Liberty : http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/03/336584.html

As of a few hours a twin carbomb attack in Kirkuk obviously aimed at an office of a Kurdish political party has left over 80 dead.http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6782425....html http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSYAT713362200..._iraq

Since the illegal invasion of Iraq, Kurdistan has been the quietest of the zones of the state of "Iraq", it has also seen the most porous border infiltration. Today on another thread ( http://indymedia.ie/article/83456 ) attention has been brought to the strictness with which the Iranians (who have shelled Kurdistan alledgedly hitting Kurdish rebel positions [PKK] in the last week) keep their eastern frontier with Afghanistan (in the NATO administered block not US). As an aside the UK experience in the south of Iraq has given ample proof of how seriosu the Iranians are about keeping those near drumlin shifting dunes of graval or sea a "defined border". I again ask you all to consider what is going to happen next. I again remind you that Kurdistan is the problem peg for either a Western UN security council solution for Iraq or an "eastern" Tehran orientated Islamist solution. Another reason for leaving this here - was simply that I mentioned the Russians. & yep they're very silent on this.

Say no! to a turkish invasion of Kurdistan!
Oppose psy-ops and covert actions in Kurdistan!
Stop mercenary or other covert forces destabilising the region through Kurdistan!
jayzhus you write your own slogans.

Thank you Mim & Dave.... I hope you understand my reasoning is appending this info. on your thread.

author by Iranian supporter.publication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 02:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I seriously dislike the anti-Iranian vibe in the media. I'm probably one of the few YFG members that thinks Iran isnt a threat. The president comes off a bit crazy, but I have recieved a few e-mails from him, he's not some "blood thirsty arab". Infact I dont think he is even an arab. Only 3% percent of the population is arab.

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