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January 22, 2007

Iran Showdown – The barring of SOME of the UN Nuclear Inspectors is a Non Issue

By Steven Leser

If I could give any advice to the public on what to believe about Iran and its weapons programs, it would be to trust only what you hear coming from the UN and UN agencies like the IAEA.


The top news agencies and the Bush administration are attempting to spread disinformation about Iran's recent actions. For whatever reason, Bush is bent on attacking Iran. Any news regarding the country is subjected to the harshest spin imaginable. If you read the headlines on the issue of some of these agencies, you will get the impression that Iran did not allow any of the current group of IAEA nuclear inspectors into Iran. That is not the case. Iran had a specific objection to 38 members of the team. Objecting to specific members of an inspection team is not without precedent and is not tantamount to a barring of the team's entry. All of this important information is at least 2/3rds of the way down this article in the Associated Press titled "Iran Prepares Public for Possible Clash". The article also includes a statement by IAEA spokesperson Melissa Fleming that should have been at the top of the article to give the public the right impression: IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said designating inspectors was a confidential matter between the IAEA and the country concerned. But she added that the agency had enough investigators lined up to conduct inspections in Iran. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- So according to the IAEA, "the agency had enough investigators lined up to conduct inspections in Iran." You wouldn't get that impression from reading news reports or hearing the Bush administration's statements on the matter. "Move to bar UN nuclear inspectors will further isolate Iran: US" says this article in the AFP . Why would that be the case if the actions Iran took would not impair the inspections? Another headline, this one by All Headline News says "Iran Limits Cooperation With IAEA, Bars Inspectors", and it begins with: Iran on Monday barred 38 U.N. nuclear inspectors from entering the country, in what some described as an initial step toward further limiting cooperation with the international community over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. The decision was taken following demands by hard-line elements in the government that Iran respond defiantly to last month's imposition by the U.N. Security Council of limited sanctions targeting Iran's nuclear program and those entities with connections to it. --------------------------------------------------- I admit to using an occasional sensational headline now and then, but I do a thorough job of explaining the situation in the article and I do it in the beginning portions of the text, not at the end. That is nothing like what we have here, a systematic approach to mislead the public on the reality of a situation. I have no doubt that most people will come away from these articles believing that Ahmedinejad has put a complete halt to IAEA nuclear inspections in Iran. If I could give any advice to the public on what to believe about Iran and its weapons programs, it would be to trust only what you hear coming from the UN and UN agencies like the IAEA. Just about everyone else is subjecting the story to spin that completely changes the reality of the situation. If I could make the administration do anything, I would make Secretary Rice meet with Ahmedinejad or as senior level an Iranian as possible in a third country like Jordan, and I would make them sit there until they came to an understanding of sorts. We should not be allowing destructive rhetoric from afar rule the relationship between our countries. There is no mystery where that leads. If Bush and Rice want peace with Iran, they will need to pursue it. If they do not want peace with Iran, we the American people have to MAKE them want peace, at least until the UN provides unshakeable evidence that Iran is attempting to produce nuclear weapons.

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Submitters Bio:
A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with Peter Lavelle. But, Leser is most known for his work as commentator and the progressive counterpoint on the very conservative FOX News cable network. Steve Leser has been frequently featured on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Bulls & Bears, and Cashing In against such FOX notables as Neil Cavuto and Stuart Varney. Leser gave the stirring live commentary on FOX as news broke of the resignation of Sarah Palin as Governor of Alaska.

Steve Leser is in demand in New York as keynote speaker for his authority on the power and machinations of Republican think tanks, the economy, health care reform and various other political topics.

Leser is also a political organizer and has held positions within the Democratic Party including District Chair and Public Relations Chair within county organizations.