Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in NBC News (5)


The Latest from Iran (14 September): Ahmadinejad's Public Relations Triumph

See also Iran Video: Full Ahmadinejad Interview with NBC News
Iran Interview: Ahmadinejad to Washington Post "If US Gives Us Uranium, We Will Stop Production"

2110 GMT: Ahmadinejad's Public Relations Triumph? Another warning signal tonight for the President over his mention of the freeing of US hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer....

Press TV features the remarks of MP Parviz Sarvari, a member of Parliament's National Security Commission, "If Iran was to release these two [spies] without receiving anything from the US Government in return, this would be against the spirit of the Islamic Revolution."

The significance lies not so much in the statement of Sarvari, who is known for heated remarks --- this week he called for the execution of Ahmadinejad's right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai (see 0655) --- as in Press TV deciding to give it prominence.

2047 GMT: Omission of the Day. Press TV reports on the President's speech today:

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces government plans to introduce reforms in the banking system and to strengthen the country's currency.

“Reforming the banking system was placed on the government's agenda and, by God's grace, reforms in this system will begin this year,” Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday in a public address in the northwestern city of Ardabil, the official presidential website reported.

He added that the changes would prevent discrimination in the distribution of banking loans to Iranians.

“I am hopeful that, through banking reforms injustice in granting loans will be no more and the means [enabling] of misuse of public funds will be no longer.”

So what is missing from this report? (Hint: the magic number is 2.6 billion --- see 1445 GMT.)

Click to read more ...


Iran Video: Full Ahmadinejad Interview with NBC News

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

See also Iran Latest: Ahmadinejad "Unilateral Pardon" for US Hikers Bauer & Fattal in 48 Hours
Iran MediaFail: America's NBC News Proudly Presents "A Day in the Life of Ahmadinejad"

This is effectively a 45-minute political advertisement by President Ahmadinejad.

NBC News has paid a high price for its access to the President and the "exclusive" that Ahmadinejad will give a "unilateral pardon" to US hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, sentenced to eight years for espionage. (It is an interesting question whether NBC knew in advance, as a sweetener to do the interview, of the President's plan or at least was told that Ahmadinejad would make an "important announcement".) The US channel agreed to an advance, glowing profile of "A Day in the Life of the President". I am certain that the list of questions was submitted to Ahmadinejad's office in advance, and I strongly suspect that NBC agreed that it would ask only those questions, with no follow-ups on Ahmadinejad's points. At points, interviewer Ann Curry is embarrassingly deferential --- note, for example, her obsequious, almost apologetic, introduction of a question (at the 18:00 mark) of a question about Iran's co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. At no point does she interrupt to challenge or even clarify Ahmadinejad's answers, which last up to five minutes without pause.

Click to read more ...


Iran Latest: Ahmadinejad "Unilateral Pardon" for US Hikers Bauer & Fattal in 48 Hours

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

President Ahmadinejad tells US NBC News that American hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer to be freed in 48 hours

1250 GMT: Ahmadinejad, who is due to speak at the United Nations later this month, told The Washington Post that he was issuing a "unilateral pardon" of Fattal and Bauer, arrested in July 2009 while hiking on the Iran-Iraq border, as a "humanitarian gesture".

Masoud Shafiee, the lawyer for Bauer and Fattal, said bail for the two men had been set at $500,000 each.

Ahmadinejad had wanted to released Bauer and Fattal last September when a third American, Sarah Shourd, was freed, also on $500,000. However, the Iranian judiciary objected to the release of the two men, as well as Ahmadinejad's planned elaborate ceremony. In the end, Shourd was released with little fanfare.

Bauer and Fattal were sentenced this summer to eight years in prison. Shourd refused to return for the trial.

0950 GMT: It looks like President Ahmadinejad is using his interview with America's NBC News to make a high-profile political move in advance of his trip to the United Nations later this month.

NBC says it was told by Ahmadinejad that Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the US hikers detained in July 2009 and sentenced last month to eight years in prison on espionage charges will be freed in two days.

NBC posted the claim in a Twitter message. The interview will air later Tuesday on the Today show.


Iran MediaFail: America's NBC News Proudly Presents "A Day in the Life of Ahmadinejad"

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Long-time EA readers will know that we have been somewhat sceptical in the past about the ability of American television journalists to deal with President Ahmadinejad on an up-close and personal basis. Even a supposed front-line interviewer like Charlie Rose of Public Broadcasting Service found himself ill-prepared for Ahmadinejad's deft evasions and diversions. CNN's Larry King, more attuned to interrogation of celebrity scandals, made little impact, and ABC's Christiane Amanpour's highly-promoted meeting with Ahmadinejad proved little more than a PR platform. (See the dissection of Amanpour's effort by our colleague Masih Alinejad.)

Yet all of these appear as heavyweight interviews in comparison with the latest effort, from Ann Curry and NBC.

Curry sat down with Ahmadinejad in Tehran two years ago, soon after his disputed re-election, and her rather inept presentation, complemented by NBC's glitzy self-advertising, gave "Ahmadinejad and the regime far more legitimacy than they have received from other governments, let alone many of the Iranian people".

Well, Curry's back.

Click to read more ...


Iran Video: Ahmadinejad with NBC News on "Muslims", "Zionists", & Obama (15 September)

President Ahmadinejad is off to the United Nations for his annual presentation to the General Assembly, so that means another round of interviews with US television networks.

It's a low-risk strategy for Ahmadinejad, as the American interviewers do not usually bring more than two-dimensional questions, and this encounter with NBC News' Andrea Mitchell was no different. Rather than pushing the President on Iran's internal matters, Mitchell settled for a snapshot of the case of the three US hikers --- Ahmadinejad had released Sarah Shourd on "compassionate grounds" but was defiant over the continued imprisonment of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal --- and got into a tangential discussion on the proposed Islamic cultural centre in New York and a general overview of President Obama and US politics. Ahmadinejad countered with assertions of Muslim goodwill (and thus his own) --- "Muslims do not hate Americans" --- while saying that a "Zionist minority" was limiting the President's options on US-Iranian relations.

Click to read more ...