CASMII Strongly Criticizes the Guardian for Anti-Iranian Article

25 May 2007

UK newspaper the Guardian was today strongly criticized by the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) for republishing unsubstantiated Bush Administration propaganda on its May 22 edition.

It is feared that the front page article which lacked basic journalistic professionalism will be used to provide justification for an escalation of the US military surge in Iraq and possible military action against Iran.

Under the headline, “Iran’s Secret Plan for Summer Offensive to Force US out of Iraq,” the author Simon Tisdall quotes almost without qualification statements made by an anonymous senior US official in Baghdad. With no other source cited and no evidence asked for, the Guardian reported:

“Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces. . .”  He continues, “They [Iran] are behind a lot of high-profile attacks meant to undermine US will and British will, such as the rocket attacks on Basra palace and the Green Zone.  The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard who are connected right to the top [of the Iranian government] . . .  We expect that al-Qaida and Iran will both attempt to increase the propaganda and increase the violence prior to [US commander Gen. David] Petraeus’s report in September, the official said.”

Professor Abbas Edalat of CASMII UK said today: “The Guardian has reported, without any challenge or any critical analysis, highly incriminating but unfounded and unsubstantiated statements by an unnamed US official in such a way that they appear to the reader as facts.  These malicious accusations, which have been systematically heightened recently, are designed to cover up the failure of the US in establishing security in Iraq four years after the criminal and illegal invasion of that country, to blame Iranian interference and thereby justify a US pre-emptive military attack on Iran.”

By propagating the myth of a link between Iran and al-Qaida and using the existing legislation in the US which authorizes the white House to use force against countries and organizations supporting al-Qaida, President Bush can launch an attack on Iran without any further explicit approval from the Congress.

Edalat added: “The Guardian article can be used to pave the way for such a scenario in the public opinion and support the propaganda interests of the Bush administration by echoing White House smears that war critics are aiding and abetting terrorist governments and organizations.  We expect this kind of shoddy, biased political journalism from some of the more right wing publications around the world and are deeply disappointed about the Guardian‘s oversight in publishing this report in the way it has appeared.”

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CASMII is an independent campaign organisation with the purpose of opposing sanctions, foreign state interference and military intervention in Iran.

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