CiF piece by Brian Whitaker on “why media believes worst about Iran” draws on conspiracy blog

Brian Whitaker simply doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about Iran.  

He’s baffled as to why the media blindly accepts the conventional wisdom about Iran’s quest to develop nuclear weapons.

Despite the recent IAEA report demonstrating that Iran has been working on developing a nuclear bomb since 2003, Whitaker offers an alternative explanation.

 “[Iran’s aspiration] possibly…wasn’t nuclear at all, but [rather] a project to manufacture nanodiamonds.”

Evidently, nanodiamonds can be used for polishing, as additives to engine oils, dry lubricants for metal industry, or as reinforcing fillers for plastics and rubbers.

You see, it’s all been a tragic misunderstanding. 

As proof of this alternative explanation – which has somehow eluded intelligence agencies, nuclear watchdog groups, and the international monitoring agency – Whitaker links to a fringe site called “Moon of Alabama“.

While I’ve never come across the blog before, a quick look reveals  a conspiratorial site which, in addition to being obsessed with defending the Iranian regime, shills for the Assad regime in Syria, alleges the “Israel lobby” is pushing for Turkey to invade Syria, and defends Sudan’s Omar Al Bashir’ from charges of ethnic cleansing.

Regarding the latter, the blog asks why “the neocon [Washington Post] editors are condemning Bashir, and accusing his regime of genocide, and then concludes:

“Another possible motivation behind the hostile position towards Sudan are Israeli considerations like the “Yeor plan” which envisions water supply for Israel through pipelines from the Nile…Supporting the suspicion that water for Israel is a motive for the false claims against Sudan is the fact that the “Save Darfur” movement is driven by Jewish interest groups.”

Of course!  It’s “Jewish interest groups” who are driving the reactionary campaign against the beleaguered Omar Al Bashir.

Further, the site advances conspiracy theories I’ve never come across before, such as the claim that al-Qaeda’s English language online magazine, Inspire, is actually produced as a “disinformation tool” by some Western agency.  They write:

 “Inspire is a general disinformation tool of some “western” agency with the additional purpose to flash out some dumb folks who then can be made into “terrorists” though FBI sting operations.”

The site also advances thinly veiled antisemitic narratives, as in this post, “Panetta tries to hold Israel back from attacking Iran“, which included this passage:

“A surprise attack on Iran by Israel alone, while useless against Iran’s nuclear program, would inevitably be followed by some acts from Iran against Israel to which the U.S. would than be pressed to respond by the Israel-firsters in Congress and the media.”

Oh yes, those “Israel-firsters” in the media.  Whoever could they be referring to?

So, Whitaker’s sole source in arguing that Iran is not – as commonly believed by Western intelligence agencies, and the IAEA – pursuing the production of nuclear weapons, is a fringe conspiracy blog which shills for Iran, as well as despots in Syria and Sudan, and advances antisemitic narratives regarding the threat posed by “Israel-first” media groups.

Please explain to me again why the Guardian is read by folks who fancy themselves “progressives”.

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