Entries in 'iran' - Eye on the News


Iran's 'Nuclear Weapons Programme' Mentioned Again with no Evidence

The Guardian - 21 April 2013

In their story about Glencore's trading with Iranian state-owned company Iralco, The Guardian mention a 'Nuclear Weapons Programme' in the headline for the story.

In addition to this, another unfounded claim of weapons being developed is present in the mention of Obama putting 'pressure on Tehran to end its atomic weapons programme.'

As in numerous cases in the past, no proof beyond speculation is provided to demonstrate the existence of the 'weapons' part of this programme in Iran.

Update 24/4/13: The Guardian have now corrected the headline, but the reference to Tehran's 'atomic weapons programme' remains in the text.

Headline: Glencore traded with Iranian supplier to nuclear weapon's programme

...The question surrounding Glencore's role in unintentionally potentially helping arm a nuclear Iran comes as Obama ramps up pressure on Tehran to end its atomic weapons programme.


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Obama's Threat to Iran Reported as Responsible Diplomacy

BBC News & The Guardian - 18 March 2013

Barack Obama's New Year message to the leaders and people of Iran for Nowruz was little more than obvious blackmail and threats. At the BBC and the Guardian, however, it has been hailed as the US President's offer of a 'practical solution' to a country that Obama has repeatedly threatened will military attack over the last two years.

The language of his address, coming from the most powerful country in the world which has invaded several countries near Iran in the last ten years, should be seen by journalists as fairly loaded blackmail, with statements such as ‘if the Iranian government continues down its current path, it will only further isolate Iran. This is the choice now before Iran's leaders’, and ‘the people of Iran have paid a high and unnecessary price because of your leaders' unwillingness to address this issue.’

The term ‘I hope they choose a better path’ should, in particular, raise alarm bells for journalists reporting on this message, given that Obama has recently reiterated that ‘when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table’ with regards to the US use of military force on Iran.

Obama’s speech, reported with headlines such as ‘Obama sends holiday message to Iran’ in the Guardian, has a clear message that if Iran doesn’t bend to the US’s demands, they will be ‘isolated’ and denied ‘greater trade and ties with other nations’. Only through conforming to the demands of the US, to ‘reduce nuclear tension’ as the BBC headline reads, will the ‘future of peace’ offered as ransom by Obama be possible for the people of Iran.

The Guardian: Obama sends holiday message to Iran
BBC News: Obama Nowruz message: Iran must 'reduce nuclear tension'

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Mitt Romney Doesn't Threaten, He Just 'Woos' Others

The Guardian - 27 July 2012

The Guardian's headlines about Iran continue to deceive. As Mitt Romney talks to Israel about the idea of a military attack on Iran, the Guardian interpret this not as a threat, but rather quite positively, stating that he "woos Israel" by considering such an attack.

Imagine if Iran was 'considering a strike' on Israel - would The Guardian feel the need to report such a threat in a positive way?

Headline: Mitt Romney woos Israel by considering US strike against Iran


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Misleading Guardian Headline Portrays Iran as the Aggressor

The Guardian - 4 July 2012

The Guardian has run an article about Iran's statement that they will respond, in the Guardian's words, 'within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic'. The text of the article clarifies that the statement was about retaliation, however the headline given to the report is "Iran 'ready to fire missiles at US bases'", which falsely portrays Iran as the aggressor in the situation.

Headline: Iran 'ready to fire missiles at US bases'


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Deceptive Headline: WMD Accusations about Iran in the Telegraph

The Telegraph - 6 June 2012

In an example of a headline being summarised to the extent of being strongly deceptive, the Telegraph ran a story entitled "Businessman 'exported WMD chemicals to Iran'"; a title which may leave a reader with little doubt that Iran has a chemical WMD programme.

The article itself points out that in reality there was a 'risk of diversion' of these chemicals to a WMD programme when in Iran (i.e. that there is no WMD accusation), which makes the headline appear quite misleading.

Additionally, the image chosen for the article is irrelevant to the material, but potentially serves to further demonise Iran.

Headline: Businessman 'exported WMD chemicals to Iran'

A businessman exported chemicals to Iran which could have been used to create weapons of mass destruction, the Old Bailey heard today.


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BBC Headline Change: Iran Goes from 'not building' to 'undecided on' Nuclear Bomb

BBC News - 25 April 2012

The image below shows how the BBC initially ran the headline 'Iran not building nuclear bomb, Israeli military chief says', and then changed the words 'not building' to 'undecided on' for their story about Israel's Lt Gen Benny Gantz's interview with Haaretz.

Headline: (11:13 AM) Iran not building nuclear bomb, Israeli army chief says

Headline: (12:05 PM) Iran undecided on nuclear bomb - Israel military chief


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BBC Deception Continues about November's IAEA Report

BBC News - 25 April 2012

Even when running an article with the title 'Iran not building nuclear bomb, Israeli army chief says', the BBC continue to mislead readers as to the conclusions of the IAEA's November report on Iran's nuclear weapons programme. It is stated that the report shows that 'Iran was secretly working towards obtaining a nuclear weapon'.

One needs only to read the news reports from around that time, or the report itself, to see that the report did not make that suggestion.

Tehran says it wants nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but the West believes Iran is developing weapons.

In November the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report with new evidence showing Iran was secretly working towards obtaining a nuclear weapon.

It did not say that Iran had succeeded in mastering the relevant technology or how long it might take to develop a bomb.


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Israel Has a 'Task', Iran Presents a 'Threat'

BBC News - 27 February 2012

On the BBC's 'How Israel might strike at Iran' page, defence corresspondent Johnathan Marcus reports on the options Israel might use to attack Iran, without noting that such an attack would be illegal, or that there is no proof of existence of nuclear weapons.

The BBC then gives one of their lists of military hardware used by both sides. Amazingly, one of the headers for each kind of Israeli plane is 'Task', while the equivalent header for Iran is 'Threat' (see image below).

Odd, given that the page is about an Israeli threat towards Iran.

Table headers for Israel: "Aircraft, Details, Task"
Table headers for Iran: "Type, System, Threat"


Update 15:40 -
BBC News have now changed the word 'threat' to 'efficacy' on this page.


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Blind Assumptions about Iran Continue on Front Page of The Times

The Times - 20 February 2012

On the front page article 'Defiant Iran cuts off oil to Britain', the writers refer to Iran's 'illicit atomic weapons programme', and 'Tehran's atomic weaponry'.

For the record, there is no evidence of the existence of any of the above.

1. With UN nuclear inspectors due in the country today to gather evidence of Iran's illicit atomic weapons programme...

2. ...Israel, which is continuing to warn that "no options are off the table" in dealing with Tehran's atomic weaponry.


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Iran 'Taunts' the West with Domestic Military Exercises

The Times - 6 February 2012

Writing for The Times, Hugh Tomlinson suggests that Iran carrying out 'air and land exercises' as well as 'naval manouvres' in their own country 'is a threat to allied forces' in the West. The headline suggests that these actions 'taunt' the West. What then should we call the deployment of British war ships to the Gulf and to the Falklands?

Headline: Tehran taunts West with more wargames in Gulf

Amid heightened tension over Iran's nuclear programme, the move is certain to be seen as a threat to allied forces in the region and to the narrow shipping lane out of the Gulf that is vital for oil traffic.


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A Creative Interpretation of November IAEA Report on Iran

The Telegraph - 29 January 2012

In November, Adrian Bloomfield at the Telegraph reported that the IAEA report about Iran showed that "for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon" - which was a blatant misrepresentation.

Now (Jan 29th), while reporting on Iran's claims that oil prices will soar as a result of sanctions, his language overplays the report again, saying that it "accused Iran of military-related atomic activities".

A damning report released by the body in November accused Iran of military-related atomic activities for the first time.

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BBC Speculates on the Suitability of Iranian Site for Air Strikes

BBC News - 9 January 2011

Why is BBC news website speculating about sites for potential air strikes within Iran in this report? The report is a clear example of how the idea of war on Iran is being normalised in the public consciousness.

It [the uranium enrichment facility] is underground, heavily fortified and protected by the armed forces - making it a very difficult target for air strikes.

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Iran 'Threatens', the US 'Warns'

BBC News - 28 December 2011

Iran's pledge to react to sanctions is reported as a 'threat', while it is reported in the same article that the American military (who have 'not ruled out military action') simply 'warns' that they will react to the blocking of the Strait of Hormuz. Again the idea of Iran being irresponsible, or reckless, is portrayed (they have 'vowed to respond by attacking Israeli and US interests in the region), while the US is portrayed as a responsible overseer (the 'US maintains a naval presence in the Gulf, largely to ensure the transport of oil remains open') in the article.

As in previous reporting, no challenge is made to the assumption (which is now almost accepted as truth) that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

Headline: 'US warns Iran over threat to block oil route'

...Washington and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran's nuclear facilities if sanctions and diplomacy fail.

Iran has vowed to respond by attacking Israeli and US interests in the region.

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Creative wording following IAEA report about Iran

The Telegraph - 12 November 2011

Adrian Blomfield at the Telegraph wrote that Iran "appeared" to be building nuclear weapons, in a clear example of being creative with words since the release of the IAEA report concerning Iran's nuclear capabilities.

On Tuesday, UN weapons inspectors released their most damning report to date into Iran's nuclear activities, saying for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon.

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More Presumptions about Iran Nuclear Arms

BBC News - 5 November 2011

A headline on the BBC website again misleads towards what are assumptions about Iran's nuclear programme. The media has for days being reporting about an IAEA report which they say will prove that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The headline chosen for this by the BBC is "UN 'finds Iran nuclear arms bid'".

This headline is based entirely on assumptions but serves to mislead readers.

An attempt at impartiality is made at the end of the article: "Analysts say they believe Iran may still be several years away from having nuclear weapons."

UN 'finds Iran nuclear arms bid'

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Telegraph Headline calls for War

The Telegraph - 3 November 2011

In what is pure speculation from the Telegraph concerning Iran's nuclear capabilities, writer Con Coughlin has claimed that Iran is "close to achieving its ambition of acquiring nuclear weapons" and called for "Obama to act" against Iran. Like the rest of the media, the paper is making unfounded assumptions that next week's IAEA report will confirm that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

The fact that any attack on Iran is an illegal war crime is omitted.

Headline: "Iran is on the verge of getting the Bomb. It is time for President Barack Obama to act"

Unlike previous IAEA reports – which, under the leadership of Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, deliberately sought to obfuscate the true nature of Iran’s activities – this one will demonstrate unequivocally that Iran is well on the way to acquiring nuclear weapons.

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Assumption that Iran has nuclear weapons

BBC News - 21 January 2011

Reporting on Tony Blair's time at the Chilcot Inquiry, the BBC make an unfounded claim that Iran has a nuclear weapons programme:

Asked whether what had happened in Iraq had made the risk from Iran and other countries developing nuclear weapons worse, rather than better, he said: "I don't think so."

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