'Media misleading by reporting that Iran implementing nuclear deal'

MEMRI head Yigal Carmon: Not one centrifuge has been removed.

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November 3, 2015 21:11
4 minute read.
Iranian worshipers in Tehran chant slogans during a protest against Saudi Arabia

Iranian worshipers in Tehran chant slogans during a protest against Saudi Arabia after Thursday's crush that killed 131 Iranians at the haj pilgrimage. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The mainstream media are misleading the world into believing that Iran has accepted and is implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that was agreed upon on July 14, a prominent Middle East expert who served in military intelligence and was an adviser to two prime ministers told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

“The recent phenomenon in the Western media saying that Iran has accepted the nuclear deal when it has not, shows that it has completely coddled to the line in defending the Iran deal,” Yigal Carmon, president of the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), told the Post.

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“This is very dangerous,” he asserted.

In an article Carmon published on MEMRI’s website on Friday titled, “The emperor has no clothes,” he wrote: “With every passing day, Iran is more and more in violation of the JCPOA. But neither the Republicans nor the Democrats, nor the media, nor anyone else will acknowledge this, for the implications are too devastating.”

On Monday, Tehran’s atomic energy chief said during a visit to Tokyo: “We have already started to take our measures vis-a-vis the removal of the centrifuge machines – the extra centrifuge machines. We hope in two months time we are able to exhaust our commitment,” Ali Akbar Salehi told public broadcaster NHK.

In a separate development that appeared to confirm that Iran had begun implementing its side of the deal, 20 hardline conservative members of Iran’s parliament wrote to President Hassan Rouhani to complain about the deactivation of centrifuges at two enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow.

“Unfortunately, in the last two days, some contractors entered Fordow and started dismantling centrifuges... they said they could finish the job in two weeks,” Fars cited the lawmakers, among those loath to accept the nuclear deal, as saying.



However, MEMRI showed a recent report from the Iranian press that directly refuted such claims.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy agency, addressed the concerns of several Majlis representatives and, according to a report on Tuesday by ISNA, he said: “We are also taking care of this matter. We will promote work in a way that follows the leader’s principles and guidelines.”

“The leader’s emphasis on the steps to be taken after the possible military dimensions dossier is closed was centered on the Arak reactor and the replacement of the uranium stockpiles,” he said.

“We are carrying out the leader’s orders meticulously and currently working on receiving the necessary guarantees on this matter.

“Indeed, we have taken several steps to implement the JCPOA so that we have more time when we wish to carry out matters in effect, but no centrifuge has been dismantled, and we are currently taking preparatory steps,” Iran’s nuclear spokesman continued.

“Regarding an official document on the rebuilding of the Arak reactor, all member-states of the P5+1 Group signed the document except for one, and we are currently waiting for the opinion of this country, which should arrive today or tomorrow,” Kamalvandi said.

Commenting on this previously unmentioned report, Carmon said, “Lo and behold, the only place you will find this report alongside the other one is in The Jerusalem Post, which sticks with the principles of journalism and doesn’t hide the reality when it doesn’t fit its beliefs, whatever they would be.

“The JCPOA, as concluded and celebrated on July 14, was never approved by Iran,” he said.

“They will never violate Khamenei’s conditions,” since even Iran’s leaders have already said they would adhere to them.

Conditions set out by Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei effectively give him the power to bypass the government and cancel the nuclear deal, Carmon and the head of MEMRI’s Iran desk, Ayelet Savyon, wrote in a report last month.

Khamenei published a letter of guidelines for President Hassan Rouhani, adding new conditions for Iran’s execution of the agreement.

“The set of conditions laid out by Khamenei creates a situation in which not only does the Iranian side refrain from approving the JCPOA but, with nearly every point, creates a separate obstacle such that executing the agreement is not possible,” they wrote.

Following the publication of the supreme leader’s letter, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and Rouhani fully accepted Khamenei’s stipulations, Savyon told the Post last month.

Some close to the leadership will declare progress to the press, explained Carmon, but in reality, according to their own nuclear official, “Not one centrifuge has been removed.”

For the Americans, the JCPOA has no time limitation for implementation.

“Implementation day will happen when it happens and when the IAEA reports that it happened,” Carmon added.

Asked about the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, which is due to issue a report by December 15 on whether Iran’s nuclear program ever had a military application, Carmon responded that the IAEA will not report about implementation if it does not occur.

Therefore, Carmon argued, this saga could take months, or even well beyond that, or it may not even happen at all.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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