There are different ways media talk about how you can't trust Iran. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, for one, went straight for bigotry: "These Persians lie like a rug," he wrote in 2009. The New York Times took a slightly different route on Saturday (4/14/12) : Maybe Iran can't be trusted because their religion permits–or perhaps even encourages–duplicity. "Seeking Nuclear Insight in Fog of the Ayatollah's Utterances" was the headline over the piece by James Risen. It's hard to know what the fog might be; the Iranian leader who actually has control over the nuclear program–supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei–has [...]
Without further evidence, the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States is rather hard to believe. See Glenn Greenwald's take, for example, to appreciate the need for skepticism about U.S. claims–and the eagerness of many elite pundits to take the government story more or less at face value. Jim Lobe's piece on how Iran experts are reacting is worth reading too. Juan Cole's post has a provocative, almost unbelievable headline–"Is an Iranian Drug Cartel Behind the Assassination Plot Against the Saudi Ambassador?"–but then again, the Official Story is pretty out there, too. One can never [...]
As negotiations begin in Geneva between Iran, Germany and the U.N. Security Council permanent members, Juan Cole debunks the prevailing myths about Iran. Myths that could not endure if U.S. news outlets took journalism seriously and challenged U.S. officialdom on Iran.