Monday, April 09, 2007

Iran: The Truth is in the Details

When it comes to media reporting on what's supposedly going on in Iran, it's been proven time and time again that you have to read beyond the headlines to find out what's really going on.

Take this story in the Independent, for example, (which is disappointing, since that newspaper is usually a top notch source of information):

Iran defies UN to join nuclear club

Iran announced yesterday that it has taken a step forward in its nuclear programme by moving to industrial scale enrichment, thereby defying three United Nations resolutions and setting itself on a collision course with the United States.

Case closed, right?


The reporter relied on rantings by President Ahmadinejad on Sunday in which he announced, "With great honour, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale."

And that might just be believable if the IAEA had actually confirmed those claims, but it hasn't:

The UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, still has to verify the move. In the past, announcements of some advances have proved premature - and the programme is believed to be fraught with technical problems.

And then there's this faulty logic:

Later Iranian officials refused to specify to journalists the number of centrifuges they've begun operating, a key indicator of how far their nuclear weapons programme has progressed, leading some diplomats to query whether the claim might be at least partly a bluff.

That's not a key indicator of anything and if the author of that article had any journalistic principles, he would avoid such hasty conclusions while listening to those diplomats.

Even the White House bought Ahmadinejad's proclamations without any proof - not that they've ever been concerned about proof before.

"We are very concerned about Iran's announcement that they entered an industrial stage of nuclear fuel production," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House National Security Council. "Iran continues to defy the international community and further isolate itself by expanding its nuclear program, rather than suspending uranium enrichment."

If Iran is indeed violating UN resolutions, there's a diplomatic way to deal with that which involves a process that begins with verification. People may have been fooled by Condi's warnings about Iraq's "mushroom cloud" and her so-called "smoking gun" before. They're not going to be fooled again.

Fool me once, shame on you Fool me--can't get fooled again ...
- The Decider

Related: According to Angus-Reid:

Many adults in the United States believe a military conflict with Iran could develop within the next year, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 55 per cent of respondents think it is likely that the U.S. will be at war with Iran.

And just how,exactly, are they going to make sure that doesn't happen, especially since the Democrats backed down from their demand last month that Bush seek congressional approval before he decides to attack Iran? No wonder congress's approval ratings are currently lower than Bush's.

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