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Longstanding Anti-Iranian Sentiment

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at 7:40 AM


Longstanding Anti-Iranian Sentiment

by Stephen Lendman

It's been ongoing since Iran's 1979 revolution. Propaganda subverts rapprochement efforts.

America and Israel bear full responsibility. So do major media and Hollywood scoundrels. Marching in lockstep is official policy.

Nuclear talks continue in Geneva. Previous rounds failed. More on what's ongoing below.

Anti-Iranian propaganda is longstanding. It's unrelenting. Hollywood reinvents history its way. On February 24, Argo won top honors.

The 85th Academy Awards chose it the year's top film. It should have been denounced instead of honored. It never should have been produced in the first place.

It's malicious, unjust and one-sided. It turns history on its head. It's politically motivated. It's propaganda at its worst.

It foments anti-Iranian sentiment. It's Iranophobic. Accuracy isn't Hollywood's long suit. Nor is what passes for major media journalism.

Iran bashing continues. Managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure.

Ari Shavit is Haaretz's resident hawk. He's a senior columnist. He's an editorial board member. His commentaries are best avoided.

The New York Times gave him feature op-ed space. He took full advantage. He headlined "How Bush Let Iran Go Nuclear."

He commented on ongoing Geneva talks. If an agreement is reached, he said, "it would represent an Iranian victory - and an American defeat."

Tehran "would be able to maintain (its) nuclear program and continue to enrich uranium."

America and its allies would lose leverage, he claims. "(E)conomic siege" would ease. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would get "economic oxygen needed to sustain his autocratic regime."

Fact check

Shavit is an Israeli propagandist. His commentaries read like official government handouts. Why Haaretz editors publish them, they’ll have to explain. Shavit is maliciously anti-Iranian.

He ignores the worst of Israel's crimes. Iranian diplomacy failed, he claims. Sanctions didn't halt Tehran's "race to the bomb." No such race exists.

A deal now won't stop it, said Shavit. "The Geneva mind-set resembles Munich. It would create the illusion of peace-in-our-time while paving the way to a nuclear-Iran-in-our-time."

The longstanding canard persists. New York Times editors repeat it in editorials. They let others do so in articles and commentaries.

They disgrace themselves in the process. They betray their readers. They violate their own ethics code. They do it unashamedly. It's longstanding Times policy.

"(D)on't blame" Obama, said Shavit. "(T)his American defeat was set in motion long before he took office."

"What three American presidents, four Israeli prime ministers and a dozen European leaders vowed would never happen is actually happening."

"What was not to be is almost a reality. The Iranian bomb is nearly here."

"Why wasn't the West able to mobilize its political, economic and military resources in time to force Tehran to give up its nuclear ambition?"

Why did Bush "go after Iraq rather than Iran. (The) long-term consequences are only now becoming clear."

America lost "the battle to prevent a nuclear Iran. (It's) "reflected in Washington's willingness to sign a deeply flawed agreement."

Leaked information suggests a pro-Western one-sided deal. In return for major concessions, Iran was offered modest, temporary, reversible relief.

Not according to Shavit. "The Geneva agreement being negotiated is an illusion," he said.

"The so-called moderate president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is an illusion, too. So is the hope that Iran's supreme leader can be appeased."

"Because America missed the opportunity for assertive diplomacy, all the options now left on the table are dire ones."

Shavit deplores rapprochement. He wants Iran denied its legitimate rights.

His new book is titled "My Promised Land: the Triumph and Tragedy of Israel." He discussed Lydda. Palestinians were massacred and expelled.

Rashid Khalidi addressed it, saying:

Shavit's writing "is so much worse than the awful things" he recounted. "He talks about what is, if you read it, clearly a war crime."

"He never use(d) the word war crime, and he justifies it. And he doesn’t talk about so much else."

"It's not as if those few tens of thousands were the only ones who were forced to flee."

"The overwhelming majority of the Arab population of Palestine - there were about 1.3 million, between 700 and 800,000 of them, the majority - were forced to flee in similar ways. That's the background to this."

Shavit "never mentions it." He wrote separately about Lydda. "It's one of the most extraordinar(ily) (contradictory) pieces the New Yorker ever published," said Khalidi.

Shavit is one-sidedly "pro-Israel." He's "pro-war crime." He knows what went on. He failed to condemn it. Nor do most others.

Khalidi calls Western media "occupied territory. Capitol Hill is completely occupied." Morality isn't their long suit.

Myths sustain Israeli lawlessness. So do propagandists like Shavit. He lies claiming Iran threatens Israel. Truth is polar opposite.

Joe Lieberman is a former US senator. He's now with the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres and Friedman. He used to be called the senator from AIPAC.

Washington Post editors gave him and Center for a New American Security adjunct senior fellow Vance Serchuk feature op-ed space. CNAS is a neocon think tank.

Lieberman and Serchuk headlined "US should be wary of Iran's goal to dominate the Middle East," saying:

Geneva talks don't "reassure the countries most directly threatened by an Iranian nuclear weapon."

They're "worried (about) a flawed agreement that ultimately will not prevent Iran's nuclear breakout." It "continue(s) creeping toward the nuclear finish line."

"Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons is the most alarming manifestation of a much more profound strategic problem: a perceived long-standing hegemonic ambition by Iran's rulers to dominate the Middle East."

Iran's willingness to make concessions in Geneva "buy(s) (it) time and space (to) consolidat(e) and (expand its) gains in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Afghanistan."

Washington "faces a determined, resourceful adversary. (It's) engaged in a long-term geopolitical struggle."

Iran "is not our budding strategic partner. For this reason, we must think carefully - and coordinate with allies - about how we can continue to contain and combat Iran's malignant regional influence, should a nuclear agreement be reached."

Fact check

Iran threatens no one. It hasn't attacked another country in centuries. It prioritizes peace, stability and co-exisitence. It seeks rapprochement with all nations.

It wants its sovereign rights respected. It wants all sanctions removed. It wants normalized relations. It wants longstanding hostility ended.

Don't expect Washington, Israel or media scoundrels to explain.

After November 7 - 9 Geneva talks failed, Wall Street Journal editors headlined "Vive La France on Iran," saying:

"(T)hank heaven for French foreign-policy exceptionalism. At least for the time being."

French President Francois Hollande "saved the West from a deal that would all but guarantee that Iran becomes a nuclear power."

A further litany of lies followed. They replicated what proliferates in other anti-Iranian commentaries.

Iran bashing continues. The worst of US/NATO/Israeli crimes are ignored. Agitprop substitutes for what people most need to know. It's longstanding scoundrel media practice.

On November 20, nuclear talks resumed in Geneva. Netanyahu spent Wednesday in Moscow. He urged Putin to toughen his position.

He proposed a ludicrous option. He compared Iran's peaceful nuclear program to eliminating Syria's chemical weapons.

He suggested resolving both issues the same way. He said the international community wouldn't have agreed to eliminating some Syrian CWs.

He wants Iran's legitimate program entirely dismantled. Putin didn't buy it. He and Netanyahu remain sharply divided. Putin wants a deal "acceptable to all sides." He wants an equitable one.

Dark Western/Israeli forces want it prevented. According to an unnamed Western diplomat:

"There is sense of strong commitment on both sides, but important differences need to be narrowed down. The deal has to be sustainable, spelled out in detail."

On Thursday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "world powers" support France's hardline position.

It's "firm." Iran has a "right to a civil nuclear (program), but not a right to a nuclear arm." A deal "is only possible on the basis of staying firm."

On November 21, Reuters headlined "France, Iran trade barbs, tempering hopes of nuclear deal," saying:

On Thursday, each side "traded tough words." France urged P5+1 countries to stay firm. Tehran deplored a loss of trust.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said:

"We cannot enter serious talks until (it's) restored. But that doesn't mean that we will stop negotiations."

Asked how trust could be restored, he added: "If (P5+1) countries create one front and stick with united words."

Negotiating a deal remains uncertain. According to an unnamed senior French diplomat:

"I'm not saying a deal will get done, but we are now in a process, and we're entering the core of the subject. The problem now is reconciling the red lines from both sides."

Another unnamed Western diplomat added:

"Lots of progress was made last time, but considerable gaps remain, and we have to narrow the gaps."

"Some issues really need to be clarified. I sensed a real commitment from both sides. Will it happen? We will see. But, as always, the devil is in the details."

The "devil" is ending longstanding anti-Iranian hostility. Nuclear talks are a distraction. Respecting Iranian sovereignty matters most. So does normalizing relations.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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