PRESS RELEASE: British MP's condemn anti-Iranian media bias
|News - Statements|
Embargoed 1st December 2007
The survey, undertaken by the Westminster Committee on Iran, looked at 19 national newspapers in the UK for a week long period. It found that whilst most articles were unbiased and factually-based, 74% contained a sentence or two that rendered the article "overly negative" or "misleading". The most common of these misleading sentences were:
- stating that Iran had threatened "to wipe Israel off the face of the map". In fact the Farsi phrase used by President Amadinejad was "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad." This translates directly as "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise". Whatever the interpretation of this translation, "a regime vanishing from the page of time" is very different from a threat to wipe a nation off the map.
- stating that Iran is responsible for supplying weapons and intelligence to terrorists in Iraq. Despite many accusations, no evidence has been produced to link the Iranian government to Iraqi insurgents. General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted at a Pentagon news this year that he had no evidence of the Iranian government sending any military equipment or personnel into Iraq.
The report, Iran in the British Print Media, finds that a general impression has been created in the UK media that Iran is acting against the will of the "international community" in continuing to develop a covert nuclear weapons programme. This impression is deemed to be misleading to the extent that there is absolutely no proof that Iran has a nuclear weapons programme. Inspections over the past three years have found no evidence of a nuclear weaponization programme. The idea that Iran is defying the will of the world community ignores the fact that 118 nations of the Non-Aligned have recognise Iran's right for a civilian nuclear technology and 56 nations signed the Baku Declaration which stated "the only way to resolve Iran's nuclear issue is to resume negotiations without any preconditions and to enhance cooperation with the involvement of all relevant parties".
The report follows the recent publication of a major study into the portrayal of Muslims and Islam in the UK print and broadcast media. The report was produced Insted Consultancy was researched by 9 leading academics, professionals from the media industry and experts on Islam, and shows that during the period of investigation the national media overwhelming portrayed Muslims and Islam in a negative way.
The Westminster Committee on Iran aims to increase dialogue and understanding between Tehran and British parliamentarians and avoid military intervention against Iran.
Source: Westminster Committee on Iran