World media is a buzz with Trump’s speech on Iran.
Trump’s speech includes the following themes about Iran: has initiated terror attacks against Americans since 1979, operates proxy terrorist groups globally, supports terrorist operatives (like al-Qaeda), is currently the world leading sponsor of terrorism; executes a range of provocative aggressive actions (like maritime harassment & cyber-warfare); unjustly imprisons Americans on false charges; violently suppresses its own citizens; fuels sectarian violence around the globe; Regarding the JCPOA – has committed multiple violations of the deal, violates the spirit of the deal; the deal suffers loopholes which will allow Iran a quick break-out to nuclear weapons; required inspections are prevented; the deal has not lived up to the expectation of contributing to regional peace and security.
Trump declared the following actions to be taken by the US: additional sanctions to block financing of terror; countering Iran’s destabilizing regional activity; sanctions targeting the ballistic missiles program; Imposing sanctions on the IRGC; Not terminating the deal at this stage, but not certifying and rolling it to Congress.
Observing the mainstream media reactions is of great interest. Much of the media coverage seemed to focus more on the possible negative outcome of Trump’s actions, rather than the negative aspects of Iran’s conduct and violations.
To cite a few examples: cnbc warned that Trump’s stand on Iran could further complicate matters with North Korea; theguardian raises the fear that the US risks becoming the “rogue actor”; the washingtonpost claims that Trump reflects a “lack of understanding” of Iran; While Trump announces that the strategy will include tough sanctions and action against the IRGC, BBC raises the fear that Trump’s actions “might embolden the hardliners including the Revolutionary Guards”. The Financial Times calls Trump’s reference of the issue to Congress as “a gamble”, and is even endowed with the vision to predict that “the Iran gamble will not pay off”. Just about every negative ramification is examined, in order to color Trump’s decision negatively.
Some media outlets did find positive things to say. When they did, it was more in the lines of “well, at least Trump didn’t do this”. For instance the nytimes stressed that Trump “did not scrap the JCPOA”.
Very few related in detail to the facts in Trumps speech, even fewer evaluated according to the “merits of the case”. One of the very few articles that did do a fact check was the independent. After carefully fact-checking the speech, they found fault in the following assertions: “regime was on the verge of collapse”, the money released to Iran as a result of the deal was originally Iran’s money, omitting the “indefinite prohibitions”. No fault was found on the “big issues” like violations, support of terrorism, regional destabilizing.
It would seem that most mainstream media outlets chose to overlook any positive aspects of addressing legitimate concerns regarding Iran’s negative conduct. They prioritized describing Trump’s faults, over Iran’s. Now, why would that be?