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February 06, 2015

Iranian Statements Taunting the United States Ignored by Most of the Media

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According to conservative media sources, officials of an increasingly emboldened Iran have taken to delivering derisory statements about the United States and its handling of negotiations over the Islamic State's nuclear program.

The Washington Free Beacon reports on Feb. 5, 2015,

Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the commander of the Basij, a paramilitary group operating under the wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC), recently claimed that the “Americans are begging us for a deal on the negotiation table,” according to comments published in Persian and independently translated for the Washington Free Beacon.
Naghdi added that American officials routinely “plead” with Iran in talks and that the United States is negotiating from a position of weakness, according to his comments, which follow earlier reports claiming that Iran’s leading negotiator “frequently shouts” at U.S. officials.

The Free Beacon also cites Associated Press dispatches indicating that the United States is "conceding ground to Iran in talks" and that "regional experts say that the Iranians feel that they are in a position of power in the talks and believe that the Obama administration is desperate to ink a deal."

Separately, Iran's PressTV (the English language mouthpiece of the Islamic Republic) on Feb. 5, 2015 carried the translated comments of Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, who stated, "Gone are the days when the U.S. was a superpower, but some still haven't realized it."

The Washington Post published an editorial on Feb. 5, 2015, acknowledging a perceived loss of resolve in the American negotiating position, writing,

First, a process that began with the goal of eliminating Iran’s potential to produce nuclear weapons has evolved into a plan to tolerate and temporarily restrict that capability.

But a Google search using key words The New York Times and words relating to the above-mentioned stories, did not turn up coverage of these comments by Iranian officials by the Times. Instead, the Times' coverage of the Iranian nuclear program overwhelmingly consists of extensive criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's acceptance of an invitation to speak before the United States Congress and related criticism of the Congress for "sabotaging" the Obama administration's negotiating gambit with the Iranians by threatening to impose more stringent sanctions on Iran against the President's wishes. In contrast to the Free Beacon's piece, the Times published an article on Feb. 5, 2015, "Iran's President Accuses the West of Distorting Atomic Plans," quoting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that Iran "neither covets nuclear weapons nor aspires to have them."

The World's largest media organization, the BBC, also exhibits little interest in the comments reported by the Free Beacon or PressTV. A review of the BBC World web site finds little recent discussion of Iran, although, the web site advertises a special program hosted by Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, known primarily for his antagonism toward Israel, on life in Iran, that airs on Feb. 6, 2015. It will be interesting to see if the BBC perspective differs in any substantial way from the Times. These two major news organizations often reflect the same political agenda and priorities when it comes to their handling of the Middle East.

Posted by SS at February 6, 2015 10:46 AM

Comments

I read it sometime last week, I have a Bahai friend who's father is in prison in Iran and has been for years for being Bahai. She recently visited Iran on an American passport, and she echo much of what is being said here.

The Obama administration has tied its image and legacy with this process which poses danger to all of us.

Posted by: eve at February 7, 2015 06:37 PM

In a democracy like the U.S. it behooves the citizens to scrutinize actions of their government and send unequivocal messages of their discontent; if they are not heeded, citizens ought to proceed to demonstrations if necessary to make their views heard. In the instance of Iran, the behavior of our inept president has diminished the influence of America on world affairs considerably which makes this situation extremely dangerous. Evidently he has learned nothing from the 9/11/01 tragedy. One also wonders where the Congress is on these matters . It would seem that the Senate and the various Foreign Relations/Foreign Affairs Committees ought to have a say in the conduct of these so-called "negotiations.' Their present conduct puts the security of the United States in extreme danger.

Posted by: Francoise Farron at February 16, 2015 11:51 AM

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