Monday, June 05, 2006

It's What They Don't Tell You

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, has many of the powers we in the West would normally associate with a President. Ahmadinejad, the President, does not, for example, have the power to declare war; Khamenei is the real power in Iran.

It was widely reported that Khamenei gave a speech yesterday in which he threatened to cut oil supplies from the region. The Times provides a suitable example of the sort of coverage the speech got:
Spiritual leader threatens to cut West's oil supplies

IRAN’S supreme leader yesterday threatened to disrupt the West’s oil supplies from the Gulf if Iran was attacked, and insisted that the country would not give up its nuclear ambitions.

Addressing a rally in southern Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appeared to toughen Iran’s position before a visit this week by Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief.
Here's another from the Telegraph:
Iran threatens to disrupt Gulf oil shipments

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, gave warning yesterday that it would disrupt oil shipments in the Gulf if the United States makes a wrong move in its dealings with Teheran.

"You will never be able to protect energy supply in this region," he said. "If you make any mistake, definitely shipments of energy from this region will be seriously jeopardised. You have to know this."

His uncompromising language underlined one of the greatest fears in the West about the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear programme: that it could retaliate by closing down the Gulf to oil shipments.
He's a belligerent maniac all right. Threatening our oil? The man's a menace...

In his speech, Khamenei denied that Iran wanted to develop a nuclear bomb. This denial has been ignored by the Times and given short shrift by the Telegraph. Neither reported that Iran's Supreme Leader called the use of nuclear weapons "against Islamic rules" (again).

Khamenei also said this:
We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any government.
Strangely, the media are even less keen on reporting that. In fact, neither the Times nor the Telegraph bothered to mention it at all.

The Islamic republic, for all its many abuses, has never started a war and their Supreme leader yesterday said that they never will. He also said that the use of nuclear weapons is un-Islamic and it's probably fair to say that the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran takes his religion really rather seriously.

These facts do not sit well with the narrative currently being constructed by the US and UK governments. Perhaps journalists would be better employed reporting the salient facts rather than using selective reporting to amplify and enhance the dubious pronouncements of government.

After Iraq and the 45 minutes nonsense, would it be too much to expect honest coverage rather than unquestioning acceptance and repetition of government spin? Sadly, it appears that it is.

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Sunny said...

Hey mate,

where did you find the transcript of what he said? I probably missed it... but can't find it linked in your article

CuriousHamster said...

It's hidden away in the Juan Cole post linked under "against Islamic rules". The Beeb also have selected highlights.