Ever notice CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour’s obsession with interviewing Iranian officials? We first addressed this question a year ago; time to revisit the issue.
We don’t take issue with her interviewing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, unlike her defending his watered-down Holocaust denial response. But we were somewhat perplexed when she gave the platform last week to Majlis speaker and former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
Amanpour tracked Larijani down while he was attending an international parliamentary conference in Geneva. Judging by CNN‘s headline – “Iran: ‘we are ready’ for a deal” – viewers might have reached the conclusion that he’s another Tehran peacenik.
Au contraire; he wasn’t such a pussycat when warning that the United States shouldn’t “sabotage” the nuclear talks if it sought normalization. Or in telling his Swiss counterpart “we expect you to prevent the spread of terrorism” in Syria.
Larijani’s concern for Syria is ironic: he’s met numerous times with President Bashar Al-Assad, and Tehran of course still backs Assad’s regime.
His desire to fight terrorism is no less intriguing: Larijani hasn’t shied away from meetings with the likes of Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and the Islamic Jihad’s Ramadan Shalah. Furthermore, the Iranian’s chief adviser Mohammad Jafari Sahraroodi – who accompanied him to Geneva – is a known terrorist responsible for the assassination of a Kurdish leader.
Ah, so much to say about Larijani: such as when he denied the Holocaust at the 2009 Munich Security Conference; or when, the same year, he accused CNN of giving money and cellular phones to post-2009 elections protesters “to portray a wrong image of Iran”; or when, in 2011, he said Iran should rethink its cooperation with the “unprofessional” International Atomic Energy Agency.
But why bother Amanpour with such trivialities? She’s got Tuesday’s Geneva nuclear talks to advance. Stay tuned…