Western ‘Reporting’ on Iran’s Nuclear Intentions

AP reporter George Jahn has an article up that is typical of the extreme bias of U.S. news media (the “respectable” kind, not Fox News) on the Iran nuclear talks. The headline seems intended to shock: “Iran at Talks: No Scrapping Any Nuclear Facility.”

Readers less knowledgeable on the details of the Iran talks would get the impression that this is (1) news, and (2) an act of insolent defiance on Iran’s part. In reality, it is not news because Iran never said it would be dismantling its nuclear facilities and, I could be wrong about this but, I don’t remember any Western negotiator suggesting that was one of the P5+1’s demands. Rather than defiance, furthermore, Iran’s refusal to “scrap” its nuclear facilities lies completely within its rights and privileges as afforded to it by the NPT.


Iran insists it is not interested in producing nuclear weapons but the six powers want Tehran to back its words with concessions. They seek an agreement that will leave Iran with little capacity to quickly ramp up its nuclear program into weapons-making mode with enriched uranium or plutonium, which can used for the fissile core of a missile.

For that, they say Iran needs to dismantle or store most of its 20,000 uranium enriching centrifuges, including some of those not yet working. They also demand that an Iranian reactor now being built be either scrapped or converted from a heavy-water setup to a light-water facility that makes less plutonium.

As part of the 6-month interim deal, Iran has already made major concessions on its nuclear enrichment program in terms of the rate at which they enrich, and to what concentration, and the frequency of international inspections (virtually every day). The Arak reactor has been one of those red herrings that hawks point out as proof of Iranian aims to someday shoot for the bomb.

But as Reuters pointed out back in November, in order to extract the plutonium from Arak, “Iran would also need to build a reprocessing plant,” which “it has no declared plans to do.” In addition, Arak construction is not scheduled to be completed until late 2014. Following that, Iran would have to construct a whole new reprocessing plant if the Arak reactor were to be an actual proliferation threat, something that would take several years.

In the article’s next segment, Jahn presents an obvious lie as a reported fact: “Iran is desperate to shed nearly a decade of increasingly strict sanctions on its oil industry and its financial sector but is fiercely opposed to any major scaling back of its nuclear infrastructure.”

Has Jahn been asleep? Has he gone all Rip Van Winkle on us? How has he missed the fact that the new Iranian government, under Hassan Rouhani, deliberately initiated intense international negotiations based on making a compromise on its nuclear program to assuage international concern over its intentions and then made major concessions in a 6-month interim deal? Is this really the behavior of a government “fiercely opposed to any” compromise on its nuclear infrastructure?

As Jessica Tuchman Matthews of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently wrote, to believe Iran is determined only to expand and intensify its nuclear program, “one would have to be able to explain why Rouhani, if his intention were to cheat, would sign a deal that focuses the world’s attention on Iran’s nuclear behavior and imposes unprecedented inspections and monitoring.”

“What would be the logic in that?” she asks. “Iran has inched forward successfully for years. Why invite severe retribution by making an explicit deal with the world’s major powers and then violating it?”

This isn’t Jahn’s first rodeo. He has been producing consistently bad reporting on Iran for years. His most recent hackery involved the leaking of a scary diagram that was intended to, but did not, prove that Iran has a covert nuclear weapons program.

Commentary like Jahn’s is the kind that demands absolute capitulation from Iran, or else. As former Carter national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said recently on MSNBC, the arguments against the nuclear talks are “essentially designed to either humiliate [Iran] or to drive them into negativism so that then we are forced to act militarily.”

12 thoughts on “Western ‘Reporting’ on Iran’s Nuclear Intentions”

  1. There's no shortage of reporters willing to produce whatever propaganda is required to keep the dollars (or local equivalent) coming in. In this case, the AP article discussed above, or a close facsimile of it, also appeared today in the Times of Israel, attributed to George Jahn. Apparently, Jahn writes frequently for the Times of Israel, a fact I'm surprised Mr. Glaser left out of the article above.

  2. We should always note that the "international concern" over Iran's nuclear program refers to the Western obsession, led by the Empire, which has overthrown Iran and stolen its oil once, then waged an aggressive proxy war against Iran, then initiated terrorist sanctions against Iran, these combined actions murdering well over a million Iranians, while Iran has killed maybe 241 US soldiers, and maybe zero, if we don't give the USA the benefit of the doubt, which we should never do, or we're idiots.

    80% of the world, the Non Aligned Movement, supports Iran's rights to nuclear power under the NPT.

    We should also always note that the USA knows full well that Iran is NOT pursuing nuclear weapons and plans never to do so. Bush knew this. Terrorist Obama and all his terrorist underlings like previously HIllary Clinton and now Kerry know this. It's just a pretext for the USA to make Iran stop doing various things, such as not being under the Empire's thumb, and supporting Hezbollah, since the USA and Israel want Israel to be able to take over Southern Lebanon again.

    The USA is also simply using the lie about nuclear weapons as a way to create a pretext to eventually attack Iran or support an attack against Iran. This is openly stated policy. (see here: http://empireslayer.blogspot.com/2013/10/if-iran-

    Brzezinski is correct. He can be very blunt and honest sometimes.

    1. "international concern" over Iran's nuclear program- there's no international concern. There's only Israel's concern. And maybe Saudi Arabia. Two countries holding down their respective collection of helots doesn't make "international concern."

      1. Sure there's international concern. The concern that if they don't back the bully, they themselves will be bullied.

  3. As has been pointed out previously, AP's George Jahn has a documented history of carrying the Israeli water bucket, especially when it comes to Iran and their fictional nuclear weapons program. He's doesn't seem to be too concerned with real "facts" – just those "facts" provided by the Israelis and the Israel-Firsters in the US Congress. His agenda is to advocate for an American led attack on Iran regardless of reality.

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