CNN, John Kerry falsely try to tie Iran to North Korea Nuclear Crisis

It was only a matter of time before the US mainstream media struck back against Kim Jong Un’s diversion of Washington’s attention from Iran to North Korea. The war the US hawks want is in the Middle East, where the oil is. On Wednesday, CNN ran a piece that had the effect of linking Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program to North Korean nuclear warheads.

The video is here as I write

The kicker? In the middle of the report, CNN admits that there is no evidence of nuclear weapons collaboration between Iran and North Korea.

I think good journalism would have put that admission right at the beginning, or maybe been discouraged by the lack of substance from doing the piece at all.

As it is, Iran has deplored North Korea’s talk of nuclear war, and called for peace, and offered to help negotiate a peaceful settlement.

Long time readers know that I do not believe Iran wants a nuclear weapon. Shiite law forbids having or using weapons of mass destruction., and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given fatwas against nuclear weapons. But Iran may want the deterrent effect that comes with acquiring the knowledge involved.

Here are some ways in which the report seems to me to have ended up being misleading:

At the beginning, the report shows Iran celebrating Nuclear Day, from Iranian tv. Among the scenes is an ordinary dynamite explosion, perhaps for mining purposes, but in this context an explosion looks sinister.

Later on Secretary of State John Kerry is also shown misleadingly attempting to link North Korea’s nuclear weapons with Iran’s civilian energy program.

Then an admiral is shown saying that Iran would benefit if North Korea helped it with its nuclear program. But he admits he has no evidence of such a thing.

A talking head is brought on to allege North Korean help with Iran’s missile technology. But that assertion is not related to the nuclear issue, and North Korean missiles aren’t very good.

In fact, Russian experts have expressed doubt that North Korea even had the missile technology it is alleged by US and Israeli sources to have shared with Iran, according to a Wikileaks cable. CNN reported:

“The Russians expressed doubts about the claim, citing lack of evidence, the cable states. But the Americans countered that some countries have offered direct evidence, and said they would try to bring further evidence to future meetings. The United States believes that Iran wanted the missiles for the propulsion technology. But in an exchange described in the cable, U.S. and Russian officials debated whether North Korea even had the BM-25 missile at all… The Russians countered that a review of the video of [a missile in a] parade showed a different video and “the missile appears to be a myth.”

Yesterday’s CNN clip also shows lame duck Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisting that all nations have the right to develop a nuclear industry. Given the framework of this report (North Korea’s nuclear saber rattling), Ahmadinejad’s assertion is made to seem sinister

But here is how he prefaced his comment in reality, according to the translation done by the USG Open Source Center:

President Ahmadinezhad Says ‘No Stopping’ Iran’s Nuclear Activities
Speech by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad at the opening ceremony of several nuclear projects on the occasion of Iran’s National Day of Nuclear Technology at the Atomic Energy Organization headquarters in Tehran — live; broadcast in progress 
Islamic Republic of Iran News Network Television (IRINN) 
Tuesday, April 9, 2013  
Document Type: OSC Translated Text …

“Today, projects have been launched. Nuclear knowledge and nuclear technology have great potentials for serving human kind. The first use of nuclear knowledge is producing energy, which Mr Abbasi (head of the National Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydun Abbasi) mentioned that Iran’s first nuclear power plant reached (production) capacity last year and today it is serving the nation of Iran. And with plans made for it, it must expand to produce up to 20,000 megawatts of electricity.

In other fields of science and the needs of humankind, again nuclear knowledge has great and decisive outcomes and uses. One of them is the medical and treatment field. Today a number of medications, in fact radio-medications have been unveiled here. Especially in diagnosing illnesses, nuclear knowledge and radio-medications have a decisive role. If many incurable illnesses are diagnosed in time, they can be cured. In fact this is a great human service to mankind. According to the statistics, every year about 800,000 people use diagnostic medication and a small part of them use treatment medication, which are produced by our scientists and experts…

In the health sector, (it is useful for) eliminating bacteria, microbes, and detoxification. Nuclear industry has a major role (in this field). The shelf life for foods (and) agricultural products can be increased by many times, (up to) 10 times, and can ensure the health of foodstuffs many times more; these are the usages of nuclear knowledge. In changing material behavior and usages of materials…”

So Ahmadinejad wasn’t talking about nuclear bombs. In fact he denounced weaponizing nuclear technology.

“You see the deception created in the world? As soon as you speak of nuclear energy they (people)A think of the atomic bomb and impose restrictions for nations under this excuse. Why? Because they want to keep it under their monopoly. They sell these medicines (radio-medicines) to the world drop by drop. You know that some of these radio-medicines have a short life. I mean that the period of their effectiveness is very short because those are active and some reactions are going on in them…

Do not think that you are talking to a group of nuclear scientists. Atomic energy is like sun, like water, like air, like a forest, like nature. It belongs to the entire nations. Everybody has a right to use it. Everybody should use it. It will increase the level of the living of humanity, and will improve the quality of the living of humanity. It should not be under the monopoly of a limited group.

… Those (countries) who made bombs and killed people; those who have committed the ugliest crimes against mankind and are still doing it today; and those who have the dark ages of slavery and colonialism in their history and are still repeating the same using new methods, have hoisted flags of freedom and human rights, flags of monopoly and monopoly-seeking. They want (to maintain a monopoly on) sciences, technologies, and essential ingredients in the world.

He points to the hypocrisy that the small club of nuclear weapons powers, among them the US, have appointed themselves the nuclear police, deciding who can or cannot have advanced nuclear technology. Most hypocritical of all is the US imposing sanctions on Iran for a civilian energy program when it is the only country to have dropped atomic bombs on cities full of innocent non-combatants.

Iran is not proved to have a nuclear weapons aspiration or program. It has almost nothing to do with North Korea. Only in the fevered imagination of Washington and New York media conglomerates and policy-making think tanks is there a connection.

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Responses | Print |

19 Responses

  1. CNN et al are most assuredly the functional equivalent of the North Korean “State” media. The U.S. state media has simply been privatized, and it’s most amusing to hear the U.S. privatized state media call North Korean’s media “state” media. And Kerry? A formerly good man, now just another imperial playuh in thrall to the thrill of the power-mad?

  2. As was the case in the years before invading Iraq, rational voices such as Dr. Cole are not allowed by the “Washington and New York media” to calmly point out there is no evidence Iran has any ambition to create a nuclear arsenal. Unfortunately, discussions about Iran’s nuclear program are debated by hysterical pundits such as Jonah Goldberg,Liz Cheney, or the other usual suspects who make the rounds every Sunday morning promoting fear, lies and innuendos.

  3. Any discussion about nuclear weapons regulations is an exercise on pathetic, useless, shameful denial if Israel’s atomic power is ignored, contextually.

  4. One does not expect anything better from the CNN and other corporate media that are in the business of distorting the facts. However, it is sad to see how soon all the hopes about a change of direction under the new US Secretaries of State and Defense have been dashed. No wonder the level of public trust in government officials and even elected representatives is so low.

    With US Senators seeking new sanctions on Iran that would penalize foreign countries that do any business with an Iranian entity, and linking the lifting of sanctions with calls on Iran “to release political prisoners, respect the rights of women and minorities and move toward a free and democratically elected government” leave no doubt that the dispute with Iran has anything to do with her nuclear program, but that it is used cynically, just as the case of Iraq, to whip up public hysteria to justify war and regime change. The aims set out above are laudable, but Iranians know that those words are not mentioned as a favor to Iran but as a cynical cover for warmongering intentions. It has sometimes been said, more in wishful thinking than in reality, that public opinion is the new super-power. It is time for the public to unite against deceit and hypocrisy and to show that they are not going to be fooled again. Otherwise, America will be entangled in more devastating wars in the Middle East.

  5. Iran is not proved to have a nuclear weapons aspiration or program. It has almost nothing to do with North Korea. Only in the fevered imagination of Washington and New York media conglomerates and policy-making think tanks is there a connection.

    Although his work was flawed Talcott Parsons’ concept of structural functionalism is helpful here. The Washington and New York media conglomerates and policy-making think tanks function in this context is to engage in war-mongering.

    Their structural function is to provide a fig-leaf of intellectual and demagogic respectability to the American ruling class’ determination to demonise and ultimately crush any country that dares step even a millimeter outside of the American establishment defined idea of what constitutes acceptable behaviour by a foreign country.


    • Time for the definers of “the national interest” to speak up here and note that all the behavior complained of is all Justified and of course Legal, and indubitably Correct.

  6. It’s disturbing how thoroughly the American media have painted Amadinejad as a crazy, out of control person. Like I keep asserting, Americans aren’t stupid – just underinformed and misinformed. We don’t have a “free press” anymore – it’s a “for-profit press” – and war and conflict SELL.

  7. Juan: A month ago you did a post on Japan and Fukushima. Your readers comments suggest they believe the risks from this event are minimal. To me, the facts seem to indicate a complete meltdown at Fukushima occurred in several reactors and this has led to not only no containment but that all the nuclear material from those reactors has been lost. Here are the articles that support this.
    India Halts All Food Imports From Japan After Fukushima Fish Found With Excess Radioactivity
    link to Since we west coasters have been consuming all this cesium, strontium and radioactive Iodine for 2 years I wish you would address this. Thanks!

  8. I am shocked that there is gambling in this casino!

    The rest of the world is quite aware of the charade the elites play. It is only the American public they seek to misinform, to keep us afraid, distracted, and dishing out trillions to our Govenment “stimulus” program.

    There is much money to be made in fear mongering, from weapons sales to punditry. If they didn’t have this tripe to report what would they talk about, Wall Street, the only XL hearing that will be held next week in a small town in Nebraska, away from prying eyes, or the Monsanto Law?

  9. The competition is between U.S. war profiteers for whom any war is better than no war and the more discriminating war mongers who are happy to shed other people’s blood in order to capture oil resources and markets.

  10. Since there haven’t been any embarrassing failures in the Iranian nuclear program, I find the connection to North Korea improbable.

    • Does your personal calculus of fact and value count the effects of that STUXNET thing as an “embarrassing failure?” Sure, it does not say much for their ability to protect their industry against the combined smartness and destructive intent of “somebody…” Although they apparently hijacked or something one of our Reeally Smart Drones. I guess Progress and Competence can be sometimes localized to parts of the War Technology front, not extending to the entire apparatus…

      Let the Great Game Continue.

      • No, I’m talking about unforced errors, like the Koreans’ repeated fizzles.

        It’s supposed to be “fissile,” fellas. F-I-S-S-I-L-E. Perhaps what’s going on is a translation problem.

  11. Kerry blurted out ‘Yellow cake’…I haven’t heard that since the WMD lie for Iraq.

    Wonder if their issue with missile tech from N.Korea also extends towards Pakistan? Maybe not.

  12. Even if Iran had a weapon they would not deploy it or allow others to do so. The Western countries are capable of detecting the origins of the material, and we would devastate Iran in such an event.

    Additionally, Iran’s strength in the region is increased with the overthrow of Saddam and the rise of Iraqi Shia.

    In the future Iran may miniaturize its nukes, or even pursue bio-warfare, but is anyone claiming this is the case today?

    Meanwhile, the real problem continues; Iran’s military exports conventional weapons to Hizbollah, who in turn threaten Israel.

    This should be the conversation the media focuses on.

    • “Meanwhile, the real problem continues; Iran’s military exports conventional weapons to Hizbollah, who in turn threaten Israel.”

      Meanwhile, “U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market”:

      link to

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