Iran’s cover up

“The United States for four decades has made little secret of its desire to see Iran’s revolutionary Shi’ite Islamic Republic fail...”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani departs after speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 24, 2018 (photo credit: CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani departs after speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 24, 2018
(photo credit: CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)
News magazines are often judged by the glossy images they present on their covers. The cover of the December 27 issue of Newsweek could well sum up some of the greatest problems that the world has faced this decade.
Over the picture of the face of the Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Newsweek declared: “If Iran falls, ISIS rises again.”
When images of the cover first began circulating on social media, there were those who believed it had been photoshopped. It was hard to believe that a respected news journal would make such a statement.
Following the public outcry, Newsweek changed the text of its online headline to a slightly more nuanced “If Iran falls, ISIS may rise again.” But the damage was done.
A headline determines the way a reader approaches the story. In the case of a publication like Newsweek, the headline might be all that many people read.
Newsweek, founded in 1933, is still considered one of the world’s major news magazines.
That the once respected publication could stoop to such an erroneous headline, pandering to the murderous regime of the ayatollahs, is a sign of the times – when many European countries continue to believe in a dangerously mistaken policy: that Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, its attacks, its hostage taking and its general bullying should be ignored. That the main thing is to delay it becoming nuclearized by a few years and then get back to business with the butchers.
Readers deserve smart analysis – even if it says something they don’t agree with. They also deserve the truth. Newsweek committed a mistake in presenting propaganda as fact.
The article itself, written by Tom O’Connor, quotes experts and pundits who emphasize that Iran played a key role in the defeat of ISIS and viewed it as a major threat.
“The United States for four decades has made little secret of its desire to see Iran’s revolutionary Shi’ite Islamic Republic fail...” the article declares at the outset.
“Far from bringing peace to the Middle East, however, a significant escalation of demonstrations shaking Iran or any major foreign intervention could end up empowering an even greater enemy – the Islamic State militant group.”
The feature says Iran is particularly concerned by its various minorities, including the Baluch, Arabs and Kurds:
“Watchers worry that any escalation of insurgencies in these parts could propel Iran toward sectarian strife.”
As The Jerusalem Post’s Seth J. Frantzman noted in his astute analysis: “The terminology is a bit odd – it would be like arguing that African-Americans protesting for their rights in the 1960s were actually creating ‘sectarian strife’ by challenging the status quo, as if minorities who protest are always ‘separatists’ and ‘insurgencies’ as opposed to merely people who would like to have rights in their regions and not a theocratic regime in Tehran...
“It’s unclear why the article uses the term ‘fall’ for any democratization that would remove the theocratic dictatorship in Iran. Under this logic, the changeover in power from Franco’s dictatorship to democracy in Spain was the ‘fall of Spain’ whereas usually, change in power doesn’t represent the ‘fall’ of a country.”
Just yesterday, Amnesty International released a report saying that “Iran’s authorities are carrying out a vicious crackdown following the outbreak of nationwide protests on 15 November, arresting thousands of protesters, as well as journalists, human rights defenders and students, to stop them from speaking out about Iran’s ruthless repression.”
Hundreds have been killed, thousands injured and many have “disappeared.” The dead include many teenagers. Amnesty also points to evidence of brutal detentions and torture.
Clearly, any discussion about the fall of a regime – any regime – needs to relate to the question of what will replace it. But what Newsweek presented as the only possibility is the least likely consequence of the end of the ayatollahs’ control in the Islamic Republic. Iran has exploited the chaos in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, thus helping prepare the ground for the Sunni jihadist extremists.
This isn’t click bait – it’s a trap. The Newsweek cover story winks at Iranian state-sponsored terrorism carried out around the world via its proxies from Argentina to Yemen; lets down those people brave enough to stand up to the tyranny of the Shi’ite regimes in Iran and Iraq; and above all, betrays the true values that the West is meant to uphold and cherish.


Tags ISIS