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Entries in William Broad (2)


Iran Special: New York Times Notices Important Nuclear Story...Four Months Later

Because Washington still envisages that it can get Tehran to agree to its conditions --- a suspension of all 20% uranium enrichment, a shipping of the existing stock outside the country, and a halt to operations at Fordoo --- it gave the lead to David Sanger and James Risen for their article today.

Those clues to the politics and propaganda of the Obama Administration, rather than journalism on Iran's nuclear programme, is the real value of The New York Times coverage.

Even it is sometimes months late.

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Iran Analysis: Re-Assessing the Explosion at the Revolutionary Guards Base

On 12 November, an explosion at the Malard base of Iran's Revolutionary Guards killed between 17 and 37 people and damaged a number of buildings at the complex west of Tehran.

Questions immediately surfaced and have yet to be answered: what was the exact cause of the blast? Who, if anyone, was behind it? How significant was the effect on Iran's military programmes?

An article published by David Sanger and William Broad of The New York Times, "Explosion Seen as Big Setback to Iran's Missile Program", offers some clues. It needs to be read, however, not as investigative journalism but as an outlet for US and Israeli officials to put out both their assessments and their political manoeuvres around the event.

Those officials bring us no closer to the answer of whether Washington, West Jerusalem, or internal Iranian groups caused the explosion. You would not expect the sources to admit US-Israeli involvement, and the American officials settle for the line of "an accident".

What is significant, however, is the apparent conclusion of the officials that the blast was a serious blow to Iran's research and development of missiles, killing a senior commander overseeing the programme.

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