Monday, July 19, 2010

For Reuters, Iran says "potāto"; the West says "potäto"

Reuters loves to frame the Iranian nuclear debate as a "he said/she said", i.e., the "West" says Iran is working towards nuclear weapons; Iran says it is only seeking nuclear power for electricity generation.  Here's an example from a story appearing today on Iran's call for a new global negotiating body, presumably to replace the United Nations Security Council:
Iran says the [nuclear] program is only for peaceful purposes, but Western powers believe it is trying to produce nuclear weapons.
Of course, it's not simply "Western powers" that believe this.  As reported in The New York Times last February, it's also the official position of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):
The United Nations’ nuclear inspectors declared for the first time on Thursday that they had extensive evidence of “past or current undisclosed activities” by Iran’s military to develop a nuclear warhead, an unusually strongly worded conclusion that seems certain to accelerate Iran’s confrontation with the United States and other Western countries.
Reuters ran a similarly-worded story on the same day as the Times article but has since abandoned any mention of the IAEA findings in its coverage of the nuclear standoff.  Instead, we get the banal boilerplate seen in Robert Evans' story linked above.  This obfuscates both the evidence of, and near universal agreement that Iran is vigorously pursuing nuclear weapons.

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