‘Iran Balks at Holding Nuclear Talks in Turkey’: Another New York Times Propaganda Narrative

by Apr 6, 2012Foreign Policy1 comment

You know, there's a word for this kind of thing. It's called "propaganda". The Times' Rick Gladstone is quite crude at it. And he made the mistake of actually linking to the Iranian media report his propaganda piece was based on.

Under the headline, “Iran Balks at Holding Nuclear Talks in Turkey”, the New York Times reports that

Iran’s foreign minister raised new doubts on Wednesday about the resumption of international talks over its disputed nuclear program, saying the location may not be Turkey — as previously agreed — and suggested Iraq and China as possible alternate hosts.

The statement by the foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, was made a little more than a week before the talks among Iran and the so-called P5-plus-1 countries — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, which are the five permanent members of the Security Council, plus Germany — are to take place. A change of location on such short notice, especially for such a charged diplomatic negotiation, seemed to represent another complication.

Other Iranian officials quoted by the country’s state-run news media had expressed irritation in recent days about the choice of Turkey, apparently angry with the Turks’ stance on two other big issues: the antigovernment uprising in Syria and the proposed NATO missile shield. Turkey, a NATO member, is participating in the shield project, which is designed to thwart Iranian missiles.

So, dear reader, if you take away from this what you are supposed to, you will understand that Iran is deliberately trying to sabotage talks by refusing to have them in Turkey, and, of course, the only reason they could object to Turkey is because Turkey is participating in a missile defense shield “designed to thwart Iranian missiles”, and, of course, if you are really smart, you will have figured out that the only reason Iran could have to object to that is because it wants to thwart talks so it can develop nuclear weapons to launch at Europe.

Now let’s turn to the main source for this Times report and see what Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, actually says (emphasis added):

“Baghdad and China have been discussed as (possible) venues for holding negotiations, and this issue has to be agreed on by the sides,” Salehi told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Salehi also said that Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili will announce the venue for talks after consultations with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Today in the cabinet meeting, the president expressed his view about the venue for holding negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 countries, and Mr. Jalili will make the final announcement after consultations with the president,” Salehi said.

Iran and the major powers had reportedly been scheduled to meet for nuclear talks in Istanbul from April 13 to 14.

Our initial proposal was to hold negotiations in Istanbul, which the Europeans first rejected and then agreed to, but, at the same time, we had other countries in our mind,” the foreign minister explained.

Do you see any differences between what Salehi actually said and what the Times reported Iran’s attitude and position as being? Did you notice how, in context, Salehi was suggesting that Iraq or China were discussed as possible venues for talks because the E.U. first rejected Iran’s proposal to hold the talks in Turkey?

You know, there’s a word for this kind of thing. It’s called “propaganda”. The Times’ Rick Gladstone is quite crude at it. And he made the mistake of actually linking to the Iranian media report his propaganda piece was based on. Doh!

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

My writings empower readers with the knowledge they need to see through state propaganda intended to manufacture their consent for criminal government policies.

By recognizing when we are being lied to and why, we can fight effectively for liberty, peace, and justice, in order to create a better world for ourselves, our children, and future generations of humanity.

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1 Comment

  1. Germán

    Good analysis Jeremy. Rick Gladstone’s fanaticism at every single article he writes makes me believe he is no ordinary journalist. He seems more like on a payroll.

    Gladstone loves to put emphasis on “the country’s state-run news media” when it comes to Iran, yet are any of his narratives away from the state-run US Department of State mantras?


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