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October 25, 2013 2:22 pm

TIME Magazine Flacks for Iran

avatar by Sarit Catz

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Iranians in Tehran protest the country's elections in June 2009, in which reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi was defeated. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In an October 15 article entitled, “Four Good Reasons Why Iran Doesn’t Trust America,” TIME Magazine seems rather sympathetic to Iran’s point of view:

As Iran and Western negotiators sit down in Geneva today, it’s worth considering some of the reasons why Iran bears such animus toward America, and why cutting a deal with the U.S. won’t be easy for Tehran either. Many of those reasons have to do with the basic Islamic fundamentalist philosophy of Iran’s clerical leaders, to be sure. But as the nuclear talks move forward, it’s worth remembering that the U.S. bears some blame for the poisoned state of the relationship between the two countries.

Each one of TIME’s “good reasons” for Iran not to trust America is actually a reason America should not trust Iran. According to TIME, these include:

1. “The Coup and the Shah”

The Shah began his reign after a 1953 coup, which the CIA has recently acknowledged supporting. TIME reports:

“It it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs,” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright conceded in a 2000 address, which also acknowledged that the U.S. gave “sustained backing” to the Shah’s regime, which, she admitted, “brutally repressed political dissent.”

The Shah may have brutally repressed political dissent, but the current regime of the ayatollahs puts it to shame in the brutal repression department. Iran incarcerates political and religious dissenters, executes untold numbers in secret prisons and, after the rigged re-election of Ahmadinejad in 2009, sent thugs into the streets to beat and murder peaceful demonstrators. This repression goes back to the early days of the regime, when thousands of political opponents were murdered.

2. “Iraq and Chemical Weapons”

TIME argues that during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988, the U.S. supported Iraq, which used chemical weapons against Iran. Ironically, Iran supports the Assad regime in Syria, which has repeatedly used chemical weapons against civilians, including women and children.

3. “Iran Air 655″

In July of 1988, American forces patrolling the Straits of Hormuz came under fire from Iranian patrol boats. At the same time, an Iranian passenger jet, Iran Air flight 655, flew nearby and was mistaken by a Navy vessel for a hostile fighter. It was shot down killing 274 Iranian passengers and 16 crew members. This was clearly an accident.

On the other hand, Iran is the world’s most active state-sponsor of terrorism. Thirty years ago today, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah set off a truck bomb in Beirut, killing 241 American marines, sailors, and soldiers. A court found Iran responsible, with a U.S. judge ordering Iran to pay more than $7 billion to the families of victims. As of yet, they have not been paid. Iran continues to support terrorism around the world, even planning to kill a Saudi ambassador by blowing up a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

4. “The ‘Axis of Evil’ and Regime Change”

TIME cites President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address, in which he described Iran as a member of the “axis of evil.” Furthermore, the magazine claims that Iran believes the U.S. wants regime change in Tehran.

Meanwhile, at virtually every regime-sponsored demonstration in Iran, speakers repeatedly call the U.S. “The Great Satan” and lead chants of “Death to America!“

If Iran has “good” reasons not to trust America, then America has great reasons not to trust Iran. And the four above don’t even scratch the surface. The Iranian regime has been hiding, lying about, and violating international law regarding its nuclear program for decades. That sounds like a pretty darn good reason not to trust the regime as negotiations resume next month in Geneva.

As to why TIME Magazine would act as the public relations arm of the Iranian regime, there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for that.

Sarit Catz is the International Letter-Writing Director for CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, where she monitors and writes about the media and facilitates letter writing campaigns.

This article originally appeared on CAMERA’s blog.

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  • Keyvan Amini

    When Mousavi was Prime Minister, he oversaw an office that ran operatives abroad, from Lebanon to
    Kuwait to Iraq. This was the heyday of Khomeini’s theocratic vision, when Iran thought it really could
    export its revolution across the Middle East, providing money and arms to anyone who claimed he could
    upend the old order. Mousavi was not only swept up into this delusion but also actively pursued it.
    It was Mousavi who appointed Iran’s ambassador to Damascus, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-pur, the Iranian
    caught red-handed planning the Marine-barracks bombing. Mohtashemi-pur also coordinated the
    hostage-taking in Lebanon. As a reward, Mousavi gave him the Interior Ministry, where Mohtashemi-pur
    went on to crack down on what was left of democracy in Iran.

  • I totally agree with Michael Garfinkel, no one reads Time Magazine any more, I wonder if it still receives massive secret subsidies from the U.S. government? Being a colour weekly in the forties, fifties and right up to the nineties was far more than any magazine, even a popular one, could have afforded financially, and Henry Booth Luce had excellent Republican Party connections. It has now veered unequivocally into an anti-Israel stance that is not the one supported by any U.S. regime so I guess it is now “independent”. And as for the Shah, a lot of vocal Iranians hated him but he had many supporters whose numbers, I suspect, have grown since he was replaced with something far worse.

  • Efram Paul

    It is too bad that our president happens to be a supporter of Islamist terrorists. With genuine pressure, and increased sanctions, it MIGHT be possible to get Iran to back down from its nuclear weapons program. But with Obama in sympathy with them, he wants to ease the pressure just when it MIGHT be doing some good, thereby allowing Iran to rush to the finish line more quickly.

    Ironically, if Iran is not stopped, Israel will have to strike. Then many of Obama’s terrorist brothers will die, along with thousands of innocent people. This game of chicken is as sick as it gets, and Obama’s enthusiastic appeasement will result in far more harm to his buddies than holding them accountable would.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    At my desk are several Time magazines from the early forties, when the magazine was well read and respected by (a more discerning) public. I’m not sure it was intended to influence opinion dramatically, but Time magazine was a respected publication.

    These days, no one reads Time, and no one cares, frankly, what their perspective is, although it is assumed that the magazine will serve up boiler plate Leftism.

    Like an off – year NYC primary, no one is showing up to vote, and the field is left to all sorts of fringe candidates – and foolish journalism.

    • Herb Grossman

      “Well read and respected”? The Luces were always anti-Semites and their Middle East coverage was always anti-Jewish, as was their European coverage on the eve of the Holocaust.

      • Michael Garfinkel

        This may be so, but it’s undeniable that Time commanded and enjoyed an infinitely greater stature than it does now.