Nowadays any development, good or bad, occurring in or about Iran, which could be just tangentially related to the country, are being morphed into staples for the rapacious consumption of grand armies of egotistical American and Israeli propagandists. Iranian neo-liberal and reactionary groups who have avoided visiting their homeland for more than three decades, using pretenses, are not immune from taking part in the feast.
When President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, thinking of the primacy of a forward looking, solid and unified team to overcome the U.S. diplomatic and economic blockade, appointed the country’s vice-president and secretary of the National Atomic Energy Agency Ali Akhbar Salehi as interim foreign minister and asked hitherto Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who has held the position for five years, to step down, the yellow journalists of the military corporate media such as Willian Yong of the New York Times, the Israeli Iran hater Joseph Wouk of Worldpress.com and a turn-coat and traitor to his own people Mohammad Reza Heidari saw an opportunity to once again demonize the Iranian government. They deviously characterized the Islamic Republic as capricious and whimsical and, furthermore, they claimed that Iran under the current administration has a high propensity toward militarism.
The replacement of Foreign Minister Mottaki with Ali Akbar Salehi is the end result of many variables. One of them, and perhaps not the major one is a series of setbacks in the realm of foreign policy execution: 1) passage of the UN resolution reprimanding Iran’s violation of human rights; 2) failure of securing a seat in the UN Women’s Rights Panel; 3) Iran’s arms shipment arrested in Nigeria, which had a negative impact on Iran’s foreign policy with regards to Africa; 4) UNESCO reneged on holding a philosophy conference in Iran. Put together, it was not a satisfactory certificate for Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki. Several factors should be considered regarding the change:
• No doubt the members of Ahmadinejad’s administration must speak with one voice
• It is not true that Ahmadinejad wanted to silence dissent in the Supreme National Security Council, as was alleged by Mohammad Reza Heidari, a defected Iranian diplomat in Norway
• It is a fabrication that Ahmadinejad made the decision of change on his own, without consultation with and agreement of Ayatollah Khamenei
The Real Face of Western Journalism
However, many reports in the western media were full of erroneous and speculative assertions, without providing evidence. For example, Parisa Hafezi from Reuters.com writes that “The sacking of Manouchehr Mottaki is an indication of a struggle between the president and the Parliament in which the assembly has accused Ahmadinejad of concentrating more power in his own hands and riding roughshod over the views of lawmakers.” To say that people working in any administration have different ideas about the issues, and these ideas at times collide, is to state a truism. But to say that the president imposes his view on the deputies in the parliament is, in fact, to say that the majority of the representatives are corrupt and ignore their constitutional duties, which then would be the criticism of the parliamentarians. It goes without saying that the western media, when it gets to Iran, habitually uses the occasion to undermine the entire system by magnifying their differences, and this time is not an exception.
Furthermore, Parisa Hafezi writes that the president of Iran “has delayed signing into law legislation passed by parliament.” Is this an unusual case? Does Ms. Hafezi know that by January 21, 2010 there were 21 pieces of legislation which were passed by both chambers of Congress in the U.S. but have not been signed by President Obama? For her information, in January of 2010, there were 318 bills which were passed by one house or the other but are resting on the desk of Obama. In some cases, the House and Senate have passed different versions of the same bill but the differences must be resolved before being signed into law. There is also a bill that President Obama pocket-vetoed, probably considering it not so important to be turned into a law of the land. There is no indication that Parisa Hafezi or the international news agency Reuters have a criticism of President Obama on these accounts. Isn’t this a case of double-standards?
The problem with articles like Hafezi’s goes much deeper: it seems the authors are not obliged to cite their sources and documents. They are mostly like opinion or gossip columns, but are presented as “news”. As another example, Hafezi writes “some MP’s accuse him [Ahmadinejad, ed.] of spending petro-dollars without parliamentary approval.” There are two problems with this statement. It does not identify the MP and does not show if the claim is true or false. This is the method used in the western media to spread falsehoods to the people in the western nations and Iranians living outside of Iran, especially those who are not fluent in Farsi and are dependent on reading the news in local or national papers which copy exactly what Reuters, AP, etc. feed them.
Moreover, it is not astonishing at all that just like all the other reporters serving the decaying and corrupt empire, Parisa Hafezi did not forget to weave the usual ghostly narrative into the current news, namely that the “Arab neighbors are deeply concerned by the possibility of an Iranian nuclear arsenal…” This is one way that the corporate media uses Wiki-leaks in the interests of the powers-that-be. Her frightful tale is part and parcel of almost every piece of imperial domineering strategy and that is “Divide and Rule.”
Seemingly, it never occurs to many western journalists that the change in the make-up of Iran’s foreign ministry personnel might be the result of an aggressive U.S.-Western foreign policy of imposing harsh economic sanctions, assassinating three nuclear physicists, carrying out terrorist activities of mass murdering innocent men, women and children praying at a mosque in the Sistan and Baluchestan region bordering with Afghanistan and Pakistan, releasing the Stuxnet computer virus to damage the Iranian nuclear facility, or blocking Iran from assuming a role of leadership in the UN Human Rights Commission, not to mention countless other repressive actions and policies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, citing President Ahmadinejad’s letter of appreciation to Mottaki, said his five year mission as foreign minister was marked by great activities and achievements. He underscored that the Minister worked diligently to achieve Iran’s foreign policy objectives.
It has not been Iran, but the U.S. and its western allies’ policy towards Iran that has placed Iran’s nuclear issue at the center of its agenda. That being the case, who else is better positioned than almost anybody else to deal with it than Ali Akbar Salehi, who holds a doctorate from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1997, Salehi represented Iran’s nuclear program and defended its right of having a civilian nuclear industry in the international agencies, when he was appointed as an ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear overseer. In that position he defended Iran’s inalienable right to peaceful nuclear technology against hostile imperialist powers who intended to have a monopoly not only in nuclear weapons but also every component, especially in the area of nuclear enrichment of nuclear power plants, mainly because it is a very profitable business internationally.
The announcement of replacing Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki with Ali Akbar Salehi came as Iran was preparing for nuclear talks in January 2011 with representatives of the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany, a group known as the P5+1. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey. Spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast at a press conference said: "After the replacement of the Iranian Foreign Minister, neither the nuclear policies nor the framework of the (nuclear) talks will change."
Ali Akbar Dareini of the Scotsman
In the west, every effort by the mainstream and alternative media has been made to use the change of the foreign minister as “the latest sign of a rift at the top levels of the Islamic government”, according to reporter Ali Akbar Darein of the Scotsman, as the country feels immense pressure of the sanctions, sabotage in the civilian nuclear enrichment plants, and has to deal with terrorism by western-trained and budgeted agents. The second theme in the corporate media is that the Iranian government is turning into a military dictatorship that soon will attack its neighbors or even the U.S. interests in the Gulf. These fictions are primarily to mislead that section of the American society that is exposed solely to constant dehumanizing programs and propaganda with sexual content of the endless corporate advertisements. Otherwise, the Iranian people, the great majority, are well aware of the ill-intentions of the U.S. propaganda.
But the plot thickens, even more when a Mr. James Miller, writing for Huffington Post online, and pretending to be based ‘live’ in Tehran, uses the change of foreign minister to inform us about the arrests and imprisonment of hundreds or maybe thousands in a large demonstration that no credible newspaper reported. He even uses the occasion to remind us of the year and a half old “Green” counter-revolutionary mob whose ultimate ideals were of the neo-liberal capitalist economy and joining the U.S.-European sphere of influence.
Who is NIAC?
The National Iranian American Council, known as NIAC, is an organization whose political role is to disseminate the ideas and policies of the U.S. with regards to Iran among Americans and Iranians. NIAC uses the sense of Iranian nationalism to lobby in Congress for the actualization of the interests of the affluent section of the Iranian community abroad.
According to the president of NIAC, Trita Parsi, the change of Iran’s foreign minister “may indicate the nuclearization of Iranian foreign policy.”
The pertinent question is why the president of NIAC is so easily inclined to judge Iran’s ruling faction so harshly but shed crocodile tears for its opposition, be it in the country’s parliament, in the White House, among the ranks of the Mojahedin Khalgh, a terrorist group or in the ranks of Mousavi’s Green “movement” some of whom have chosen the U.S. Department of State as their sanctuary and financier as well. One answer to the question lies in the editorial pages of the Washington Times of April 14, 2010, which categorically stated that “Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has received millions of dollars in federal funds to promote ‘democracy’ in Iran.”
It goes without saying, especially when one can afford to hire defense lawyers, NIAC’s management furiously objected to the Washington Times allegation, of course not in principle, but as to the quantity of “millions of dollars” that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a conduit for the objectification of the CIA funded projects has provided to NIAC. At one point in their plea, the defendant of NIAC admits that between 2002-2007, the organization received only(!) $200,000 from NED.
Apparently NIAC is in the habit of receiving large amounts and easy money from very friendly places. On December 2, 2010, NIAC boasted on its website that it has received three major grant awards totaling $446,000.00 from sources including the Parsa Community, and the Rockefeller Brother’s Fund, and the Nathan E. Cummings Foundation, a prominent Jewish-American philanthropy. For a more complete and accurate detailing of the monies received from NED, please see Jeremy R. Hammond’s article in Foreign Policy Journal » Has the U.S. Played a Role in Fomenting Unrest During Iran’s Election?
Throughout the western capitalist world, be it in France, Germany, Britain, Japan or the United States, the changing of governmental advisors and officials occurs frequently and is considered part and parcel of the way government operates, but in the case of Iran, it commands the attention of an avalanche of story tellers.
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