AP Iran Scare Piece Proves Itself Wrong

Where’s old Doc Prather when we need him? George Jahn, the David Sanger of the Associated Press, has a scary new piece out. And though the story seems to have gotten plenty of attention with it’s big headline “Iran Prez Said Pushing for Nukes,” on further inspection the “Said” amounts to, well, pretty much nothing:

“Iran’s president wants to shed the nation’s secrecy and forge ahead openly with developing nuclear weapons but is opposed by the clerical leadership, which is worried about international reaction to such a move, says an intelligence assessment shared with The Associated Press.

“That view, from a nation with traditionally reliable intelligence from the region, cannot be confirmed and contrasts with assessments by other countries that view Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as relatively moderate on the nuclear issue compared to the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”

So the vast majority of Western intelligence agencies agree that Ahmadinejad is “relatively moderate” on the issue, and one dissents. On what basis exists this discrepancy? Jahn never says.

If Ahmadinejad’s supposed ambitions are opposed by the religious leadership, who have the real say in the matter, then what’s so headliney about that anyway?

Are we to understand that Jahn’s source(s) swore him to secrecy regarding not just their names, but the name of the country which they presumably work for and produced this “intelligence”? Could it be that they anticipate readers may not agree with Jahn’s assessment their assertions about Iranian nuclear capabilities have been “traditionally reliable”?

The piece continues:

“Ahmadinejad is pushing ‘to shake free of the restraints Iran has imposed upon itself, and openly push forward to create a nuclear bomb,’ says the assessment. But Khamenei, whose word is final on nuclear and other issues, ‘wants to progress using secret channels, due to concern about a severe response from the West,’ says the report.”

Jahn provides no evidence that Ahmadinejad is pushing for anything, and nothing in the article even acknowledges the fact that the unanimous opinion of all 17 American intelligence agencies [.pdf] is that the Iranians are not pursuing nuclear weapons openly or in secret. Renowned investigative reporter Seymour Hersh tells this writer that the rest of the West agrees. But in AP Land, inconvenient facts are omitted rather than confronted head on.

The new head of the IAEA is quoted complaining that Iran has made it “difficult for us to draw a conclusion [Iran’s nuclear program] is exclusively for peaceful purposes.” But that, as our dear retired Dr. Prather would put it, is “none of the IAEA’s beeswax.” Their mandate under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and Safeguards Agreement with Iran is the monitoring of Iran’s nuclear material, accounting for its quantity and quality on a regular basis and verifying its non-diversion to military purposes. Their further mandates from the UN Security Council to completely prove a negative, ask endless questions based on forgeries and inspect non-nuclear facilities are rightly considered illegitimate by the Iranians.

The rest of the article elaborates on the theme that that the “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Khamenei, is the one with the power to decide and that he is the more “cautious” and “circumspect” about the prospect of starting a nuclear weapons program and perhaps stoking a regional arms race than his already-willing-to-deal presidential frontman.

George Jahn’s new Iran piece in the Associated Press, despite its emotional headline and anonymous scare quotes, actually makes a strong case that neither Iran’s president, nor its head-Ayatollah are interested in obtaining nuclear weapons.

Author: Scott Horton

Scott Horton is editorial director of Antiwar.com, director of the Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from ScottHorton.org. He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s. Scott’s Twitter, YouTube, Patreon.

29 thoughts on “AP Iran Scare Piece Proves Itself Wrong”

  1. You would think by now that the AP would recognize a story planted by a Mossad agent. I would call this willful ignorance of the source's motives. For shame, AP.

    1. George Jahn has quite a track record of pimping for the Mossad. Everything the man writes on Iran is 100% propaganda. Coincidentally – for it can only be a coincidence! – Jahn also likes to write about Jewish topics, especially those relating to World War II.

    2. The Israelis and their supporters never give up, never quit writing propaganda articles, never quit lying, never stop distorting the truth or spying on whatever host country they happen to be in. These people are dangerous not because they are more intelligent than anyone else but because they are the most dedicated, the most fanatical, better organized than the communists during the cold war and with more financial resources than most nations. I can't say this with certainty because I simply don't have enough information, but it is my laymans opinion that no nation or group of people has ever waged a more successful spying campaign against the U.S. than even the Soviets, and they were pretty damn good.
      Hermes Trismegistus

  2. Speaking of the HACK Sanger. The ny times has a new propaganda piece on Iranian NUKE development. Survivor of attack leads Iran nuclear effort.

  3. Could it be that Jahn was the author/creator of 'Helpers of Global Jihad'?

    1. Not quite enough. I don't doubt you, but could you provide some evidence to support your claim? Specifically, who runs the AP, and their connection to, as you out it, "Tel Aviv".

  4. Readers may wonder why are sufficiently scary pieces like the first two items on today's antiwarcom Iran section without being identified as typical pro-war propaganda:
    Opposition (funny way of referring to MEK): Iran Consolidates Nuclear Bomb Effort (yahoo/ap) , Survivor of Attack Leads Nuclear Effort in Iran (NYT) posted on antiwarcom/

  5. Okuyucular Neden tipik yanl?s? sava? propagandas? olarak tespit olman?n bugünün antiwarcom ?ran bölümünde ilk iki ö?eleri gibi yeterince korkutucu adet merak olabilir
    Muhalefet (MEK için komik bir ?ekilde): ?ran, Survivor, Nükleer Bomba Çaba (yahoo / ap) birle?tirir Attack ?ran Nükleer Çaba (NYT) / antiwarcom yay?nlanan Talepleri

  6. What is left out of this discussion is the fact that the Iranian clergy have issued a fatwa gainst nuclear weapons, calling them "offensive to God". Considering the theocratic nature of the Iranian governng system, this alone speaks volumes for their true intentions.

  7. Sounds like the typical lies of the spin doctors, this time by war mongerer George Jahn, before a war.
    It would be the stupidest thing to say such a thing by an Iranian politician and is therefore a lie.
    But the sad thing is that obviously lots of people believe that as we have seen in the past.

  8. Anyone who thinks Iran WANTS a war with anyone- nuclear or otherwise- is seriously deluded. Rational nations realize that war is the LAST resort when all else fails and they are truly threatened. Rational nations don't initiate wars based on hearsay and verifiably false pretenses.

    The whole Threat From Iran ™ is, in my opinion, nothing more than a provocation by Israel in order to draw the US into a war with that nation to prevent any other Middle Eastern nation from gaining parity. Sadly, the US is already on a course of appeasement and will do anything Israel desires- I suspect if Israel handed the President a list of people- American citizens- it wanted eliminated, they'd quickly find their way onto the Hit List even if they pose no threat to the US.

    Yes, it's true there are elements within the Iranian power structure that would prefer to see Israel pursue a different path, but it seems they may be a little late. With the course the Knesset is plotting for Israel, the nation will self-destruct soon enough anyway. We shall see come September.

  9. In the meantime, Israel continues their reign of terror unabated and funded/aided by the US by murdering Iranian scientists. And nobody, not one nations dares say a thing about it.

  10. It's always worth noting that the Iranian Nuclear "Weapons" Program — the quotes indicate the elegant sweetness of the fact that it IS and it ISN'T at the same time — is really something of an Iranian stroke of genius. The chess masters of Iran are, well,… masters. Here's how it works. The best Nuclear weapons program is the one that is completely compliant with the NPT, completely legal, which nevertheless provides all the deterrent capability of a full inventory of missiles and warheads, and does so without ever actually having a single warhead — and of course, without the associated multi-billion dollar cost.

    Enrichment ***capability*** is the key — the hardest most crucial aspect of nuclear weapons acquisition. Having a large enough enrichment program is like having run a marathon untill you're standing with your nose AT the finish line and all you have to do is wiggle your nose,… and you have your nukes. And enrichment ***is legal***. (It appears that this situation was not fully appreciated when the NPT was drawn up). So Iran has committed to developing an enrichment capability large enough to make bomb grade material quickly IF THE NEED ARISES, but to never actually make even a gram of bomb grade material as long as there is no need.

    Thus it appears that the Iranians have come up with a plan — a magnificent plan, a thing of beauty — to have all the benefits of nukes, without any of the disadvantages.

    Next question: Have those in the West been so rich, so "muscular", and so self-abused by their own propaganda for so long, that they can now be out-maneuvered by any country where the people are poor and must be reality-based and exceedingly clever just to survive?

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