BBC’s Tehran correspondent bemoans West’s ‘lack of trust’ in Iran

In an October 15th report for BBC television news (also featured on the Middle East page of the BBC News website), the BBC’s Iran correspondent James Reynolds explained to viewers  why the P5+1 is sceptical of Iranian declarations regarding the peaceful intent of its nuclear programme. 

Reynolds report Geneva P5

Presenter: “These talks – it’s all about building trust – isn’t it? – between the two sides.”

Reynolds: “It is, and it always has been and there’s been a gulf of trust – a lack of trust – between Iran and the West, and in particular between Iran and the United States, for more than three decades. Of course presidents Obama and Rouhani chipped away at that lack of trust a few weeks ago when they had a telephone call. This builds on the momentum of that, but all the officials I’ve been speaking to here in Geneva stress that it will take more than just two days to build up the kind of confidence and trust needed for an agreement. Trust is so important because essentially the West has decided that it no longer wants to take Iran at its word. So when Iran says ‘we’ve got a peaceful nuclear programme’ the West simply says ‘we don’t believe you’. That is a symptom of the lack of trust.” [emphasis added]

In other words, Reynolds would have his viewers believe that scepticism with regard to Iran’s declarations of intent regarding its nuclear project (which, contrary to the impression the BBC is trying very hard to create, exists far beyond the boundaries of “the West”) all boils down to the West having issues with “trust”. 

The fact that Iran has repeatedly lied about its nuclear programme, concealed aspects of it and prevented international inspection apparently has nothing to do with that “lack of trust”: according to Reynolds’ dumbed down version, “the West” has capriciously “decided that it no longer wants to take Iran at its word” and so BBC audiences do not need to be informed of the tiresome details of the story.

So much for the BBC commitment to “[e]nhance UK audiences’ awareness and understanding of international issues”.


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