News Release

“Targeting Iran” — Iraq Redux?


The editor of Editor & Publisher, Greg Mitchell, is charging that Michael R. Gordon — “the same [New York] Times reporter who, on his own, or with [Judith] Miller, wrote some of the key yet badly misleading or downright inaccurate articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion” — is “now writing scare stories that offer ammunition for the growing chorus of neo-cons calling for a U.S. strike against Iran.”

Mitchell notes that Gordon “wrote with Miller the paper’s most widely criticized — even by the Times itself — WMD story of all, the Sept. 8, 2002, ‘aluminum tubes’ story that proved so influential.” Recently, some of Gordon’s stories about Iran have been appearing on the front page of the New York Times.

Mitchell’s article is posted here.

Abrahamian, who was born in Iran, is a distinguished professor of history at City University of New York. He is the author of the article “Iran: The Next Target?” and several books including Iran Between Two Revolutions.

Abrahamian said today: “The people who want to put the screws on Iran are overblowing the whole issue of Iran allegedly arming some factions in Iraq. It’s ridiculous to think that Iran is supplying lethal weapons to the Baathists or Wahaabis. The real issue is, Cheney is still very much pushing for air strikes on Iran and these allegations against Iran are very much building up that effort. … Some elements of the Mehdi Army — who have criticized Iran — could be receiving help from Hezbollah. Hezbollah itself has received help from Iran — so there could be some support to some factions which is indirect.”
More Information

Barsamian’s latest book, Targeting Iran, has just been released. He returned from a recent trip to Lebanon and Syria.

He said today: “The U.S. government would have us believe that any problem in Iraq is Iran’s fault and any problem in Lebanon is Syria’s fault. It’s implausible that Iran is arming factions in Iraq that are its sworn enemies. New York Times reporters are again acting as stenographers for the U.S. military on this issue. The latest charges are part of a long line of overblown or baseless allegations trying to pin the violence in Iraq on Iran. In contrast to the furor over any allegation of Iranian involvement in Iraq, it’s just taken as a given that the U.S. has the right to have a massive military presence in Iraq and to arm whoever it wants. Embedded journalists reproduce embedded ideas. Meanwhile Norman Podhoretz in the Wall Street Journal is the latest in a long line of neo-con icons demanding the Bush administration launch a war on Iran.”

Barsamian added: “Al-Qaeda elements are now operating inside Lebanon for the first time. Contrary to what the pro-U.S. Siniora government is claiming and what many are echoing in the U.S., these Al-Qaeda elements probably entered Lebanon through the airport and not through Syria. The airport is controlled by the Siniora regime. These are hundreds of young men. It’s difficult to believe the Siniora government didn’t know what they were up to. This fits with Seymour Hersh’s reporting that the U.S. and the Saudis are backing extreme Sunni formations in Lebanon to diminish the power and influence of Hezbollah.”

Targeting Iran features interviews with Noam Chomsky, Ervand Abrahamian and Nahid Mozaffari.
More Information
More Information

For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy at (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan at (541) 484-9167.