Introduction — April 20, 2017
What follows is an example of the very worst of modern journalism. Under the guise “balanced reporting” it portrays Iran as a “sponsor” of terror and in doing so it works hand-in-glove with the Trump administration as it prepares to take a tougher line on Iran. Possibly even revoking the nuclear deal that was forged by the Obama administration.
If that happens articles like the following will have been instrumental in achieving that.
In it Tillerson is reported to have accused Iran of sponsoring terror in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. This ignores the fact that the U.S. and its allies supported militants in Syria, such as the al Qaeda linked Al Nusra; in Iraq where the U.S. covertly supported ISIL, and Yemen where the U.S. backs the Saudi campaign against Houthi rebels.
The following article totally misrepresents these events and others. Such as where it claims:
Iranian backing has also been crucial in propping up Assad, whose brutal crackdown has led to the deaths of more than 500,000 people and created millions of refugees
Iran only intervened after Western backed militants attempted to oust the democratically elected President Assad. He was not responsible for the deaths of 500,000 or the millions of refugees, who fled a war that the West and its allies in the gulf states were instrumental in creating.
In this article, Rex Tillerson, pointedly ignores the fact that the West and the gulf states bear a large measure of culpability for what has happened in Syria. Like the rest of the corporate Western media, it plays down covert Western involvement in Syria and points the finger of blame at President Assad and his Russian backers.
A final thought: the media gave Trump a rough ride in the immediate aftermath of his election. But now that he’s establishing himself as a would-be warmonger there’s no hint of disapproval and the media’s earlier criticism of him only enhances the credibility of their latest misrepresentations of Iran and Syria. Ed.
Tillerson: Iran Left ‘Unchecked’ Could Follow North Korea’s Path
Abigail Williams and Jacob Pramuk — NBC News April 20, 2017
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the United States will conduct a “comprehensive review” of its policy toward Iran, including the 2016 nuclear deal, which he said had merely delayed Iran’s goal of becoming a nuclear state.
“This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat we face in North Korea,” Tillerson said. “The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran. The evidence is clear Iran’s provocative actions threaten the U.S., the region and the world.”
Tillerson notified Congress on Tuesday that despite finding that Iran was meeting the terms of the deal, the Trump administration was reviewing whether to break from the agreement, saying in part that Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terrorism
Wednesday, Tillerson ticked off what he called the abuses of the Islamic Republic point by point, accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon and against Israel.
Other grievances included the harassment of U.S. naval vessels, the conducting of cyber-attacks, the arbitrary detention of foreigners, including U.S. citizens, and the carrying out of ballistic missile tests in violation of U.N. resolutions.
The Iran nuclear deal, which went into effect in January 2016, was an agreement among five world powers — Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — and Iran. Although billions of dollars of Iran’s assets were unfrozen in exchange for Iran’s curbing its nuclear program, U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic because of its support of terrorism weren’t lifted.
Iran has been on the annual U.S. list of countries supporting terrorism since 1984, and as of 2015 it was determined to be the “foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” above Syria and Sudan.
Countries designated on the list are subject to specific U.S. sanctions, but how exactly has Iran supported terrorism around the world?
According to the most recent State Department report, the Islamic Republic of Iran provides a range of support to terrorist groups, “including financial, training, and equipment.” Most notably, that support is directed through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, also known as the Quds Force (IRGC-QF), and the foreign terrorist organization, Hezbollah.
Defense Secretary James Mattis addressed those groups’ impact on the region while in Saudi Arabia Wednesday.
“The militia they maintain, Lebanese Hezbollah that they support in Lebanon, that militia is contributing thousands of fighters, and of course Iran’s got its own military inside Syria continuing to hold [President Bashar] Assad in power,” Mattis said. “Everywhere you look, if there is trouble inside the region you find Iran.”
Mattis was in Riyadh in part to address the crisis in Yemen, where Iranian influence and support of the Shiite Houthi rebel group against the Sunni government continues to play a major role in the nation’s instability. The French, Australian and U.S. navies have all uncovered attempts by Iran to smuggle weapons to the rebel group.
Iranian backing has also been crucial in propping up Assad, whose brutal crackdown has led to the deaths of more than 500,000 people and created millions of refugees. Outside of the Iran-aligned terrorist group Hezbollah, Iran has provided arms, financing and training for Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani Shi’ite fighters in an effort to support their ally, whom they see as crucial to maintaining their influence in the region.