Iranian terror financing is not a topic on which the BBC has produced any serious and significant reporting – in fact quite the opposite.
In June 2013 the BBC News website promoted a report by an NGO claiming that “there is no evidence of any financial support provided to Hezbollah” by Iran. The BBC has not however covered subsequent statements conflicting that claim that have been made by both Hizballah’s leader and Iranian officials.
In April 2015 the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent told audiences of Iran’s “alleged support for terrorism” and in July 2015 other senior BBC correspondents were busy telling audiences that the cash influx resulting from the P5+1 deal with Iran on its nuclear programme would be used exclusively to improve the domestic Iranian economy.
In January 2016 the BBC News website told audiences that “Iran has been accused of funding militant groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon” without providing any information that would help them to conclude whether or not such accusations are justified.
As recently as last month BBC World Service radio listeners heard the following from the corporation’s Middle East correspondent:
“…Israel’s government is extremely concerned about Iran. They believe that…ah…because of its action, that they say it’s arming Hizballah just north of Israel here in Syria [sic]…” [emphasis added]
As reported by the Jerusalem Post, in a speech at a conference in Jerusalem last week, the IDF’s chief of military intelligence touched on the topic of Iranian terror financing.
“Iran’s massive funding of terrorist groups that endanger Israel was exposed in shocking detail by IDF Military Intelligence chief Maj.- Gen. Hertzi Halevi on Wednesday.
Speaking at the IDC Herzliya Conference, Halevi revealed that Iran is funding Hezbollah to the tune of $75 million a year, while paying $50m. of Hamas’s budget and approximately $70m. to Islamic Jihad.
Connecting Hamas’s alliance with Iran to recent criticism of Israel for the humanitarian situation in the Gaza strip, Halevi placed the blame for a lack of construction supplies and the electricity problem squarely on Hamas.
Israel has let into the Strip “four times the volume of building materials” required to build one of the world’s largest buildings, but “Hamas is using the materials for war, not rebuilding,” he said. […]
Returning to the Iranian funding and support of terrorism, Halevi noted that Tehran is regularly “acting to get exact and advanced weapons into Lebanon and Yemen.””
Members of the BBC’s audience (who are entitled to expect their understanding of world events to be enhanced by reporting from the corporation they are obliged to fund) will continue to lack context crucial to the understanding of many of the Middle East stories they hear and read for as long as they are denied serious coverage of the topic of the hundreds of millions of dollars of annual terror financing by a country they are repeatedly told is led by a “moderate”.
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