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Entries in Press TV (33)


Iran Feature: Newsflash --- Tehran Does (Not) Shoot Down An Enemy Drone

One of the US drones that Iran did not shoot down on Saturday

A tale of how Iranian propaganda went a bit too far --- and how the Western media, always on the look-out for a story of Tehran's threat, went along for the ride....

Press TV, the regime's English-language outlet, put up the Breaking headline on Saturday night, Iran Cyber-Warriors Take Control of Drone". As in December 2011 and January of this year, Tehran was going to parade another Western surveillance aircraft before the Iranian press, demonstrating how the Islamic Republic could not only defy the enemy but --- by reverse-engineering the drone --- turn the foe's weapons against it.

CNN quickly picked up the newsflash, and the Associated Press put out a fuller story.

The only problem was that none of this was true.

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Iran Propaganda 101: Mass Killing of Children in Connecticut --- The Jews Did It

If there is a conspiracy of significance here, it is not in the Jews massacring American schoolchildren. It is in how Iranian State media, to put out its English-language version of the world, managed to forge an alliance with a group of anti-Semitic US fantasists.

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Syria Live Coverage: The Country Goes Dark as Internet Cut Off

A poster showing President Assad standing against the enemy militaries of the US, France, Britain, Turkey, and Arab States

See also Syria Analysis: A Threatened Regime Cuts the Internet
Palestine, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Statehood for the Palestinians, A Constitution for Morsi
Thursday's Syria Live Coverage: Insurgents Take More Bases as Damascus Hit by Bombs

2121 GMT: Today is Friday, and while the world is focused on battles and meetings and organizations and diplomatic recognitions, on Friday there is always another story. Every Friday since March 2011, protesters have taken to the streets in Syria. Even in towns where bombs fall and bullets fly, somewhere close by it is possible to find an anti-government protest somewhere in Syria.

Also, every Friday has a theme, agreed upon by activists ahead of time by voting on Facebook. Today's theme does not translate well into English, but according to Zilal, it means roughly "the sign of victory over the palace" or "The Fingers of Victory over the palace." The meaning is clear --- the opposition believes it is winning, and is close to grabbing control from President Assad.

There were interesting twists this week.

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Iran Propaganda 101: Press TV Re-Arranges Ban Ki-Moon's Words

On Thursday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon addressed the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran. Press TV did not cover the speech. Instead it used Ban Ki-Moon's press conference today --- rewriting the translation on its own video --- to claim, "UN Censures West’s Threats Against Iran's Nuclear Energy Program".

A comparison of the Press TV account and what Ban Ki-Moon said on Thursday....


Press TV: “I have condemned the threats by any member state to destroy or delegitimize another. I have reminded the leaders...throughout the world to lower the volume and stop the provocation that can lead the area down a slippery slope of conflict."

Ban Ki-Moon: "For the sake of peace and security in this region and globally, I urge the Government of Iran to take the necessary measures to build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme."

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Iran Propaganda Special: "Zionists Will Stage Terror Attack on Olympics"

Press TV's Vision of the "Terror Attack" on the Olympic Stadium --- People Nearby Seem Surprisingly Unconcerned

Would the 2012 London Olympic Games experience another 9/11? How could a mock terrorist attacks fill pockets of British Zionist lobby? What do you know about Australia’s richest man and influenced bussiness [sic] man in London?

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Iran Snap Analysis: Propaganda, Negotiations, and the Economic Ties That Bind

Iran's media outlets and spokesmen are putting out the message that it is the US and Europe, not the Islamic Republic, who are economically weak --- this, rather than a genuine desire for agreement, is why Washington and allies are pursuing the nuclear talks. However, the argument is propaganda, not assessment, leaving the important question whether Tehran's officials actually believe the illusions of their rhetoric.

If they do, then they may be in for an awakening as they go to Moscow on 18-19 June. Given the economic difficulties within Iran, which cannot be masked by rose-coloured proclamations, and the European Union's cut-off of Iranian oil imports from 1 July, US and European governments believe they have the upper hand. Having planned for alternative supplies to cover the drop in oil taken from Tehran, they can afford to play the game long. It is far from certain that the Islamic Republic can do so.

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The Latest from Iran (21 May): A Freudian Slip on the Economy

See also The Latest from Iran (20 May): A Tip of the Hat to President Obama?

1824 GMT:. Fraud Watch. In the 11th hearing in the trial of dozens of defendants over a $2.6 billion bank fraud, a former deputy at the Ministry of Industry has accused Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Parliament's National Security Committee, of involvement.

1813 GMT: Death to the Rapper Watch. Hojatoleslam Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, the head of the Administration Court, is the latest cleric to call for the killing of rapper Shahin Najafi because of his "insult to Imams" with his song "Naqi".

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The Latest from Iran (19 April): Supreme Leader Seeing "Positive" Nuclear Talks?

See also Iran Analysis: Obama's Special Advisor Offers 3 Signals on Nuke Talks
The Latest from Iran (18 April): Trust Us, All is Well

2025 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. On a slow political day, both the pro-Ahmadinejad IRNA and Fars give top billing to the President's appearance at the commemoration of the 13th-century poet Saadi. Ahmadinejad told the audience that the poems "reflect the recommendations and instructions of divine prophets for a happy life".

1425 GMT: Oil Watch. Additional notes on a busy day on the oil front....

Minister of Oil Rustam Qassemi has warned that an agreement for a Chinese firm to develop a phase of the giant South Pars oil and gas field could be cancelled, giving Beijing one month to resume activity.

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Iran Snap Analysis: Syria and Ahmadinejad --- Sifting Reality from Propaganda over the Erdoğan Visit 

In the aftermath of the two-day visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, what is significant is far beyond any "news" that has been printed.

What we may have seen --- or rather not seen, in the prepared Iranian statements --- was the eclipse of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 14 months before his term in office finishes.

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Iran Breaking: Female Ninjas to Sue Reuters for Defamation (Press TV)

UPDATE 2035 GMT: Tonight the Iranian authorities have withdrawn the accreditation of the Reuters bureau in Tehran.

The 11 staff in the bureau have been told to hand back their press cards. Reuters said it is in discussions with Iranian officials to regain accreditation.

At the start of February, we noticed a Press TV report highlighting 3500 women in Iran who are officially registered to train in the martial art of Ninjutsu. We posted the video as well as a comment by Max Fisher of The Atlantic which, despite a somewhat patronising and two-dimensional presentation of gender issues in Iran, considered the story seriously as a case of "the self-empowerment of these women".

It was too much to expect this thoughtful approach to hold --- Women! Ninjas! Weapons! Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon! --- and three days later, it was Britain's Daily Mail that caught our eye: ""Meet Iran's Female Ninja Assassins: 3,000 Women Training to Defend the Muslim state". 

Reuters subsequently capitalised on the visual angle with a slideshow of "Ninjas in Iran". So did Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty with "Iranian Women Show Their Ninja Skills". (Neither, as far as we can tell, added the claim of "Muslim State Ninja Assassin Army".)

At that point, the story probably should have been left to retreat into ninja darkness. But sadly, the possibilities of political exploitation are too strong to be withstood. So Press TV, in its unrelenting defence of the Islamic Republic against evil Western media, now proclaims, "Iranian Ninjas sue Reuters for Defamation of Character"....

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