Tom Gjelten

Warrick Selectively Edits Amano Remarks to CFR

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfr8NQXmYKM[/youtube]

Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA,  appeared on the record yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations. He presented a very brief statement and then the bulk of his time was spent in a wide-ranging question and answer session. The lineup of questioners included Barbara Slavin leading off, David Sanger near the middle and Gareth Porter getting in just before questioning was brought to a close.

Joby Warrick took advantage of Slavin’s question to present Iran in the worst possible light:

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said the nuclear watchdog would try again next week to visit the Parchin military base, a sprawling complex where Iran is thought to have conducted tests on high-precision explosives used to detonate a nuclear bomb.

Iran has repeatedly refused to let IAEA inspectors visit the base, on the outskirts of Tehran. Instead, in the months since the agency requested access, satellite photos have revealed what appears to be extensive cleanup work around the building where tests are alleged to have occurred.

“We are concerned that our capacity to verify would have been severely undermined,” Amano told a gathering of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. He noted Iran’s “extensive” cleanup effort at the site, which has included demolishing buildings and stripping away topsoil.

“We cannot say for sure that we would be able find something,” Amano said.

Notice the careful way in which Warrick has excerpted parts of what Amano said and inserted his own spin into the statements. If you listen carefully to what Amano says in response to Slavin’s question around the 27 minute mark of the video, you will see that Amano never characterizes the activities by Iran as sanitizing the site (as said in Warrick’s headline) or even that it was cleanup work, as Warrick says in the body of the article. Amano does mention removal of soil, demolition of buildings and extensive use of water, but maintains that access to the site is necessary in order to have a clear understanding of both past and current activities there.

Amano sits in a a position of high tension. He must deal with the Wikileaks disclosures showing that he is much more aligned with the US than his predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei. Perhaps helping him to navigate this delicate position, the host of the CFR event, George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, provided some background comments and posed questions to Amano aimed at allowing Amano to voice his overall goal of resolving issues diplomatically. Despite this claim by Amano that his goal is diplomatic solutions, he must deal with the fact that the issues his organization has been raising are cited (often in an embellished way, as Warrick does above) as grounds for an attack on Iran. Perkovich also used these comments as a way to provide an endorsement of sorts for a second term for Amano.

One of the better questions posed by Perkovich related to whether it is possible to come to agreement with Iran regarding boundaries for future activities while leaving unresolved questions about what may have taken place in the past. Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @SunsetGunShot California Split is a magnificent movie. Beautiful look at it.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Atrios This is why your house locked you out.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @rsingel @ClaraJeffery Mike Kiefer wrote a beautiful tribute http://t.co/KOVPjmXUQ7
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @maryjpitzl @azcentral Is there a poll on the AG race?
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @AlfredoPhxAZ Jeebus, here's to a speedy and full recovery
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ClaraJeffery If you have not seen this by Mike Kiefer, you should http://t.co/KOVPjmXUQ7
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The Politics of the ISIS Threat: Obama And The Warmongers http://t.co/RvAxgr0Tme Nice piece recognizing insane push for war
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @OrinKerr: 2d Cir to hear NSA case in oral arg Tuesday. Good panel for challengers, I think. http://t.co/VlpKFHOasP
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Mansfield2016 I still think it is Sri.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz This is beautiful RT @michaelbkiefer On the death of Tucson writer Charles Bowden. http://t.co/KOVPjmXUQ7
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @michaelbkiefer Nice remembrance.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @xor This is comedy? @TyreJim @sarahjeong
9hreplyretweetfavorite
September 2014
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930