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Friday, December 29, 2006

The Times of London "censors" Iran!

Today's Times of London printed a letter from the Iranian ambassador to Britain. Iran is upset that the Times watered down their hysterical rhetoric, and, frankly, so am I.

It would be much better for readers to see the spit flying out of the Iranians' mouths when evaluating the merit of their arguments. (Calling it censorship is, of course, nuts - editors have the right to edit. But the Times edits seriously downplays the insanity of the argument.)

Here's the letter that the Times published, along with a reconstruction (in bold) of the parts that Iran sent based on this IRNA article:

Sir, Iran (letter, Dec 26) is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and has categorically rejected development, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons on ideological and strategic grounds, while on December 11 the Prime Minister of Israel boasted about his regime's nuclear weapons appeared to admit that his country had nuclear weapons, although his aides later denied this.

For decades the international community, especially countries in the Middle East, has been aware of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, but the reversal of the hypocritical policy of “strategic ambiguity” has posed a serious threat to the security of the region.

On the other hand, those governments which have pushed the Security Council to take measures against Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme have systematically prevented it from taking any action against Israel for refusing to abide by the NPT to nudge Israel towards submitting itself to the rules governing the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

There is a famous Persian saying that 'Truth is bitter whether you like it or not.' The root causes of all the troubles and miseries are Israel's long and dark catalogue of atrocities, such as occupation, aggression, militarism, state-terrorism, crimes against humanity. It is these which pose a uniquely grave threat to regional and international peace and security.
HAMID BABAEI
Chargé d’Affairs
Embassy of Iran
London SW7

Babaei's screed seems almost reasonable in the way the Times presented it. Only in its original context can one see that his main point was the last paragraph, where he blames everything from Arab poverty to Saddam Hussein and the Saudi kleptocracy on Israel.