Consider this: on March 6th the foreign minister of Iran, Javad Zarif, put out the following chronologically challenged propaganda on Twitter.
Within hours of Zarif’s finger having hit the ‘Tweet’ button (a privilege of course not afforded to the vast majority of his countrymen), the BBC News website had published an article based on that ‘140 characters or less’ agitprop under the none too subtle headline “Iran’s Zarif says Israel lying about Gaza rocket ship” – and thrown in a bit more Hamas propaganda for good measure.
The article opens:
“Iran has rejected Israeli allegations that it was behind a shipment of Syrian-made rockets intended for Palestinian militants in Gaza.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed them as “failed lies”.
He claimed they were published “just in time” for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, which took place earlier this week.”
Later on the report states:
“On Thursday, Mr Zarif rejected the allegations and questioned why they had surfaced just after the conference a pro-Israel US lobby group.
“An Iranian ship carrying arms for Gaza,” he wrote on Twitter. “Captured just in time for annual AIPAC anti-Iran campaign. Amazing Coincidence! Or same failed lies.”
A spokesman for Hamas, the militant Palestinian Islamist movement that governs Gaza, said they were a “silly joke”.”
The article then duplicates the statement made in the BBC’s previous reports on the subject of the seizure of Syrian-made weapons on a ship sailing from Iran to Sudan, which deliberately misleads BBC audiences by creating the impression that Iran’s well-documented funding and arming of numerous terrorist organisations is nothing more than an Israeli claim.
“Israel has long accused Iran of arming groups such as Hamas.”
The report also reproduces the previously touted notion of equivalence between the actions of terrorist organisations targeting civilians and the responses to those attacks by the armed forces of a sovereign country charged with defending its citizens.
“More than 60 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have hit Israel since the start of last year, Israel says.
Hamas denies that it has fired any rockets since a 2012 ceasefire agreement with Israel, with other Gaza-based groups claiming responsibility. However, Israel says it hold Hamas responsible for any attacks from Gaza and has repeatedly launched deadly air strikes.”
Despite the ample readily available contradictory evidence, the article repeats the BBC’s frequent promotion of Iranian claims regarding the nature of its nuclear programme.
“At a news conference in Jakarta on Thursday, Mr Zarif insisted that Iran’s nuclear programme was solely for peaceful purposes.”
So just what was the point of this BBC report? No new information is provided to readers on the topic of the seizure of the missiles itself and the article’s sole purpose appears to be amplification of Javad Zarif’s straw-clutching propaganda along with a re-run of Hamas comments of the same genre and repetition of the same misleading ‘smoke and mirrors’ focus on the Gaza Strip which detracts audience attention from the real issue at hand – Iran’s long and continuing history of material support for terrorist organisations.
Considering that Iran was scheduled to receive a further $550 million in sanctions relief the day after the publication of this BBC report, this would have been a timely opportunity to inform audiences of the facts behind the extent of that country’s enabling of the internationally designated terrorist organisations which destabilize the Middle East.
If members of the general public wish to immerse themselves in undiluted and unchallenged Iranian propaganda, they can of course do that via several official or semi-official Iranian media outlets. The remit of the BBC is not to be Press TV’s ‘Mini Me’, but to provide its audiences with the kind of accurate information which will enable them to distinguish between the propaganda of a repressive, theocratic, terror-enabling regime and the actual facts behind a story.
Sadly, the BBC seems intent upon rendering itself irrelevant to discerning news seekers by repeatedly running interference for the Iranian regime with uncritical amplification of its propaganda – at least when that propaganda can somehow be linked to Israel.