NYT Iran Scare Piece Just Lies, Innuendo

David Sanger carries on Walter Duranty, Judith Miller and Michael Gordon’s lying legacy at the New York Times. In his new piece, co-written with William J. Broad, Sanger spends eleven-hundred words speculating and propagandizing about what it might meant that an Iranian scientist got a promotion.

Eat your heart out, George Jahn.

Sanger’s* entire argument – it ain’t reporting – is that the new enrichment facility at Qom exists. He repeats the tired, nonsensical lie, which first appeared in Sanger’s "journalism" at the time, that the Iranian government disclosed the existence of the new facility they were building there back in September 2009, as he now puts it, "only after learning that the United States and European powers were about to announce that they had discovered the complex, deep inside the Iranian base."

What a bunch of nonsense. How in the world could the Iranian government know that President Obama, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were "about to announce that they had discovered the complex"? Is it (Broad and) Sanger’s case that Iranian Intelligence infiltrated the American president’s speech writers’ offices? That they have a high-level mole inside the CIA? The MI-6?

Of course not. These are simply hollow lies fed to Sanger by his anonymous government sources, and uncritically passed by him to the rest of the mindless media.

The Iranians simply abided by their Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA and notified them that they would be introducing nuclear material into equipment to be installed at a new facility they were building long before the required 6 months out.

Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran is required to maintain a "Safeguards Agreement," which allows IAEA inspectors access to Iran’s nuclear material to verify its non-diversion to military purposes, and requires notification in due time before the introduction of nuclear materials new locations so that the verification of non-diversion will not be interrupted. (The NPT also guarantees the "unalienable rights" of all signatories to the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.)

But, since hardly anyone else in the world was aware of the Qom disclosure to the IAEA, the Western politicians decided they would seize the opportunity – four days after the disclosure – to pretend they had caught Iran "red handed," making a "secret" uranium enrichment site.

Sanger bought it. Or at least sold it. "They only admitted it first because somehow they knew we were about to call them on it," unbelievably, became the linchpin of the entire government/media argument of Iran’s corrupt deception at Qom.

One may wonder why they even need arguments at this point.

But this one did serve the administration’s purpose of finding a way to refuse to accept Iran’s damn-near complete acceptance [.pdf] of the 20% enriched u-235 fuel swap deal that Obama had offered them in the first place, and complain that the end-of-2009 deadline for falling in line and avoiding more sanctions had been violated by the Iranians.

Once the IAEA was done looking around the facility that November, then-director Mohamed ElBaradei said it was "nothing to be worried about." It was just a hole in the ground then, and has taken all this time to be ready for use. Apparently Sanger has trouble remembering things from a year and a half ago, if they’re true.

The rest of Sanger and Broad’s harangue is simply innuendo stemming from the obvious-to them premises that 1: the Qom facility must have been constructed for nuclear weapons development and 2: that if an Iranian nuclear scientist (that the U.S. and/or Israel has tried to murder**) who used to work with another man Sanger claims is "suspected" of unspecified nuclear weapons work inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has been made the new head of their Atomic Energy Agency, and he continues on the exact same path of enriching small amounts of uranium up to 20% for alleged medical uses that his predecessors were on, then that could only mean one thing: an atom bomb program.

Yet the American intelligence community is unanimous [.pdf] in this year’s National Intelligence Estimate that the Iranians have no nuclear weapons program, secret or declared, as they’ve said since 2007 [.pdf], long after, as Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, they claim to have discovered the existence of the Qom site.

As even Sanger admits in the article, the administration doesn’t see any cause for alarm here, other than the typical "they’re not supposed to be enriching at all" boilerplate – an answer given only when pressed by the Times. And we know Obama will use any excuse to start a war.

And why should weapons development be the most likely reason for 20% enrichment, Qom’s construction or this scientist’s promotion?

Yes, 20% enriched uranium is closer to the 90-plus percent required to make atom bombs than the rest of Iran’s stockpile of 3.6% enrichment for their electricity program, but it’s also needed for targets in their medical isotope reactor that the U.S.A. helped build for them back in the 1970s when their dictator was our loyal puppet.

During the so-called negotiations of 2009, Iran’s counter-offer to Obama that they swap their 3.6% LEU for finished 20% fuel rods, instead of their relying on the good faith of the French to honor the agreement was perfectly reasonable, as was the Turkish-Brazilian efforts to arrange the swaps on their territory. It was the U.S. government that was the intransigent party in all this, refusing to take Iran’s initial counter-offer as an opening to further talks, and even – shades of Dick Cheneyloudly criticizing the Brazilian and Turkish governments’ good faith efforts to bring a resolution to the dispute.

It is the president and secretary of state who deserve the blame from those worried about Iranian production of 20% enriched U-235, but they should also relax a bit because, after all, the Iranians have remained prepared to negotiate away production at those levels as recently as a few months ago – not the best way for them to stockpile eventual weapons material, right?

Why should the construction of a new uranium enrichment facility at Qom be an indication of a future weapons program? After all, the U.S. and Israel have threatened to bomb Iran for years under the pretext that their open, declared nuclear electricity facilities amount to a weapons program already. Why shouldn’t they diversify their supply and harden their defenses?

And why should the promotion of this one scientist be viewed as as some game-changing milestone on the road to the apocalypse in the context of the rest of these facts? Oh, right, these facts are here, not in the Times piece. So there you go.

*I pick on Sanger because Broad’s work is okay when he writes with Mark Mazzetti for example.

**Such attacks continue.

Update: That last link about an assassination today, turns out not to be right.

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.

19 thoughts on “NYT Iran Scare Piece Just Lies, Innuendo”

  1. Unnamed U.S. officials recently stated,"Recent secret advances in Iran's secret nuclear weapons program were seen as inspiration by the Oslo suspect, thus further driving home the need for immediate military intervention."

    1. Of course, even when the boogeyman Islamic Terrorists ™ aren't in any way responsible for Oslo, they are STILL implicated one way or another.

      I guess no one has ever thought of bombing a government building before without any inspiration from The Islamic Terrorists ™. Oh wait- Oklahoma, 1995.

      I guess no one ever thought about a mass shooting of civilians before without inspiration from The Islamic Terrorists ™. Oh, wait- Texas Tower, 1966.

  2. Why do you think the fundamentalist regime in Iran kept its nuclear programme secret for 18 years? Had they had peaceful purposes, open programme would have brought much expertise and support from the IAEA. It's naive to talk against war – which no sane person would desire – and yet directly or indriectly appease the pre-mediaeval tyranny in Iran. It was exactly the same policy of appeasing Hitler which eventually led to WWII.

    1. "It was exactly the same policy of appeasing Hitler which eventually led to WWII. "

      I see. And what would a policy of "not appeasing Hitler" have led to?

      1. Had there been enough pressure on Hitler, he would not have so non-nonchalantly dared to invade other sovereign countries. This applies to the Iranian regime as well. Every time the civilized world has been soft on the regime, it's tried harder to "export" its backward-looking "revolution", which is in reality a counter-revolution to the revolution of the Iranian people for freedom and human rights. Every time the UN and outside countries have stood firm against the regime's war-mongering and bloodthirsty campaigns have subsided,
        Had there been enough pressure on Hitler, he would not have so non-nonchalantly dared to invade other sovereign countries. This applies to the Iranian regime as well. Every time the civilized world has been soft on the regime, it's tried harder to "export" its backward-looking "revolution", which is in reality a counter-revolution to the revolution of the Iranian people for freedom and human rights. Every time the UN and outside countries have stood firm against the regime's war-mongering and bloodthirsty campaigns have subsided,
        There is a big difference, however, between Iran under the bloodthirsty mullahs and Germany under Hitler where the German resistance was not very strong. Iran had a revolution against the Shah's dictatorship and even though initially Khomeini was supported by the majority due to his promises to bring democracy to Iran -promises he betrayed right from the start. It was not long before his and his regime's pre-mediaeval nature and repression turned the majority against him. So far, this regime has murdered well over 100,000 democracy campaigners from the left to the right of the political spectrum. So, not appeasing the Iranian regime will show its international isolation and the people will find it much easier to see a future without the mullahs and become active for democracy. Such barbarity as shown by the regime stoning, gouging out eyes and cutting off limb – in a country which has not seen such savagery for hundreds of years – does not belong to the 21st century or the refined culture and aspirations of the Iranian people and is a stain on civilized humanity and will be wiped off sooner or later. Appeasing the regime will only slow the process.

        1. You seem to think you're part of the civilized world — a term you trot like some supremacist Aryan — when in essence you're nothing but a filthy Orientalist Zionist and bigot.

          In short,
          ???? ???? ????

    2. Maybe if Britain had allied with Germany against the Soviet Union- as Hitler desperately wanted- we wouldn't even be having this conversation as the Cold War would have never happened and thus much of the present-day unrest in the Middle East would have been avoided. Britain stuck to it's stupid policy of defending Poland from aggression… but why didn't they attack the Soviet Union who had just as big an invasion force as the Germans?

      No, instead Britain decided it would be best if Germany faced down the threat of Communism alone- and indeed gave the Soviets a good hiding- but in the end it seems the West was more comfortable with a hugely powerful communist Soviet Union rather than a large and powerful socialist Germany.

      And thus, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and just about every other conflict one can think of since then has been a direct result of not stopping communism cold when we had the chance. "Appeasement" indeed.

      It's not 'appeasement' to negotiate with Iran- it's the only SANE course of action. Iran doesn't want war within anyone- but when they are attacked (and given the wild-eyed ravings of Netanyahu and his den of jackals in the Knesset) I have no doubt they will respond swiftly and decisively.

      As for the 'pre-medieval tyranny' in Iran, yes their system is different from that of the West- but does that make it inherently bad? No, of course not- it's their system and if the people want something different, they can effect change just as other nations throughout the Middle East have been doing for months. Will it be easy if a group wants change? No, of course not- but is it easy to effect change, REAL CHANGE, here in America? Alas, we see it is not. In many ways, we in America have our own 'post-medieval tyranny' alive and well- an we don't seem to be doing anything about it.

      1. Iran religious system is more confortable and realistic to all muslims than the saudi who claim to be descendant of the prophet Mohamed the Morocan King tells his flocks that he is a descendant but next door algerians don't believe it so is Tunisia Libya Egypt etc. reason I am bringing this up is Iran is a dangerous islamic state to the gulf countries this is why USA and EU have problem with Iran Nuclear Iran is a total horseshit. how come that Russia India China don't give a toss about the issue.

    3. Isn't their some sort of rule that if you wave the "old Hitler rag" in your argument, you fail?

    4. That sounds reasonable so you are saying the Israel nuclear bombs are not for peaceful purposes and they should be brought to the attention of the IAEA? It is naive to talk about nuclear weapons in Iran without the discussion of the nuclear weapons of Israel. Actually no appeasing Hitler brought on WWII. It was the pure stupidity of Chruchill who elected to attack German to keep Poland free. After 4 years and millions of dead Poland did not even exist. Stalin and Hitler should have been allowed to fight it out and then we could have taken on the winner. This is the reality that they never want to talk because we continue hear bunk of appeasment of Hitler. Chuchil did so much damage in the boar war and WWI that it is amazing the he could even live in England much less run for office.

  3. Ah Walter Duranty, the same guy that won a peace prize for explaining how great Soviet Collectivization was for the Ukraine- notwithstanding the fact it killed 10 million people in a year.

  4. They say and do anything to make Iran look bad everthing they say is a lie.Israel is the biggest human rights violater ever they are modern day Hitler and get support fron the US government.The US send there military to die and fight wars that are the biggest reason for why America is going to colapes well Israhell sits back and dont lift a finger.Now they are supposed to bomb Iran in september whats that 100 times we heard that.Attack Iran and have fun dealing with all the illegal war your fighting now along with Iran Russia,China North Korea and others.Israel wants war with Iran let them fight and lose there will no longer be an Israel when Iran is done defending its self.I dont understand the grip Israel has on the US but if they start a war let them suffer their fate.Dont no why you are allies but if they strike fiorst withch they will there is no reason to start WW3 over it.If they make it look like Iran started the war its b100 persent a faulse flag.Israely government is pussy need US to do everytrhing than lauph well US is falling apart. America grow a brain government anyway.

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