Today in the news section I wrote about a speech yesterday from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The title chooses what is the most pertinent part of the speech: Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei: We Will Never Seek Nuclear Weapons.
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons,” said Ayatollah Khamenei amid calls from some hawks in Israel and the U.S. to attack Iran for its nuclear enrichment, which they allege is for nuclear weapons.
“There is no doubt,” Khamenei said, “that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”
I also included other important information, like the fact that “there is broad consensus within the military and intelligence community in the U.S. that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and has demonstrated no intention of doing so.”
By contrast, here is the Wall Street Journal‘s report of the same Khamenei speech:
Iranian Leader Promotes Nuclear Plans
U.S. and Europe Chastise Tehran for Blocking U.N. Inspections, as Khamenei Says ‘No Obstacles’ Can Stop Program
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that the Islamic Republic would move ahead with its nuclear program, despite growing international pressure.
“Iran’s nuclear path must continue firmly and seriously, with the help of God and by ignoring propaganda,” Mr. Khamenei told nuclear scientists and employees of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency in a rare meeting at his residence. “Pressures, sanctions and assassinations will bear no fruit. No obstacles can stop Iran’s nuclear work.” The nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes, he said.
Paragraph after paragraph subsequently tries to incriminate Iran and leaves out the somewhat crucial points about Iran’s nuclear program being civilian in nature and about Khamenei’s repudiation of nuclear weapons. In the last paragraph – the very last paragraph and the second to last sentence – the Wall Street Journal chose to include:
Iran isn’t pursuing a nuclear-weapons program because it would be “sinful,” he said.
Buried lede much? Or is it more important to illustrate supposed Iranian “defiance” and try to conflate continuation of Iran’s nuclear program with a nuclear weapons program?