The Imaginary Fatwa Reappears

The AP told its readers and subscribers yesterday that:

“ Iran sought Tuesday to spell out in its clearest terms yet that it is not seeking nuclear weapons, highlighting a religious decree issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that bans nuclear weapons.”

Ali Akbar Dareini, from the AP goes on to note that:

Iran authorities have often cited Khamenei’s religious edict, made more than seven years ago, in attempts to counter Western suspicion that Iran could be moving toward nuclear arms.

To highlight its seriousness, Dareini quotes an Iranian official, Ramin Mehmanparast, who said that, Iran would be willing to “register the fatwa as an international document.” 

The only problem is… there is no document. There is no fatwa. Try and find it on any of Khameinei’s official sites of publications.  I have written in the past at length on this imaginary fatwa (worth a read if I may say so myself).   Likewise, the ‘supreme leader’ has been asked on many occasions about this mythological fatwa, and no response has ever been provided.

Sir, I would like it in writing…

Of course, the Iranian desire to rehash this myth is understandable: another IAEA inspections team has landed, sanctions continue to bite, tough talks lurk around the corner, and the threat of force remains an option. But what about the media, providing such a undiscerning platform?  Consider these headlines:

Fox News: Iran says supreme leader’s ban on nuclear weapons is binding 

TIME: Iran: Khamenei’s Ban of Nuclear Weapons Binding

CBS News: Iran: Religious decree against nuclear weapons is binding

Washington Post: Iran says supreme leader’s ban rules out nuclear weapons

You guys should be ashamed of yourselves! You look much too much like these:

Russia Today: Iran reiterates religious ban on atomic weapons ahead of IAEA talks

Press TV: Leader’s fatwa on nuclear weapons binding for Iran: Foreign Ministry Iran: Khamenei’s Ban on Nuclear Weapons Should End Issue

Look at that – so much benefit of the doubt. At least somebody got it right:

Al-Bawaba: Nuclear threat not over til Iran’s Supreme Leader issues a fatwa!

Love the subtle nuance. For those who didn’t get it, Al-Babawa – which I understand is a Jordan-UAE joint production – ends with this:

Have your say: Do you think the statement is a political ploy? Or is there sincerity behind this unusual religious ruling?

Need I say more…?

Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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Posted in AP, Iranian Internal Issues, Military, Other News
4 comments on “The Imaginary Fatwa Reappears
  1. […] German readers).  He was even challenged about the mythological fatwa (see my previous posts here and here on the […]

  2. […] He rewrites history (when his job was the official spokesperson of the Iranian nuclear program) and once again bases the crux of his argument on the ‘non-existent Fatwa’ (see my previous posts on the matter). […]

  3. […] For the benefit of non-Arabic readers: in his article Seyed Hossein Mousavian (rumored departing New Jersey for Iran) calls for Tehran to leave the NPT and instead anchor its nuclear policy in Khamenei’s fatwa. […]

  4. […] to the Iranian media, Brok told his interlocutor that Khameini’s alleged nuclear fatwa was a confidence-building measure in talks between Iran and the world powers. This was such a […]

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