Paris, 7 Mar. (IPS) In a “secret” letter to all major Iranian newspapers and news agencies, the Supreme Council on National Security has established a guideline for the media about the way issues concerning the nuclear question, the Iran-Iraq relations, Tehran-Washington talks on Iraq, elections etc and at the same time proposes subject for articles.
According to Iranian observers and veteran journalists, the letter, signed and sealed by Mr. Alireza Malekian, the deputy communication secretary of the SCNS, one of the highest decision-making bodies in the Islamic Republic of Iran, is “unprecedented in the history of Iranian press, especially after the Islamic Revolution of 1979”.
The order, coming from the SCNS, is aimed at limiting further the already much curtailed freedom for the Iranian press and journalists
Copies of the document, with seal of “top secret”, were published on 6 March by the independent Iranian newspaper “RoozOnline”, based in London and in Paris. It orders the media to observe following points:
++ A new resolution on Iran is totally void and illegal;
++ Any new resolution on Iran would be baseless, would have no impact on the resolve of Iranian people concerning the nuclear programme;
++ Any new resolution would strengthen the unity of the Iranian people with its leadership;
++ Insist on the positive points of the IAEA report on Iran and Iran’s cooperation with the Agency;
++ Insist on the rift between America and the Europeans over Iranian nuclear activities;
++ Europe must not become a tool at the hands of the Americans;
++ If Europe permits becoming a tool at the hands of the Americans, it would be the end loser, not Iran;
++ Insist on the growing rift between the United States in the one hand, Russia and China on the other about Iranian nuclear issue;
++ Insist on the importance of the American intelligence organisation’s report that Iran has stopped all military-oriented nuclear activities;
++ Iran’s nuclear progress is a great achievement of the Iranian and Muslim people; it will be at the disposal of all Muslim nations;
Iran hailed the latest report of Mohammad ElBaradei, expressing satisfaction at Tehran's cooperation with the IAEA.
++ Iran’s readiness to help Egypt developing its own nuclear technology;
++ Insist on the fact that the Muslim world had been deprived of the nuclear technology;
++ Insist on the hate of the Muslims against America’s policy of discrimination;
++ That Muslims all over the world have been delighted at news of progress made by Islamic Republic of ran on nuclear technologies etc..
It was under such “suggestions” that all the Iranian media, but especially the pro-government press, “hailing” the last report of the IAEA boss Mohammad ElBaradei as a “great victory” for Iran and the Government of the fanatic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, highlighting some “positive” points like Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA, but ignoring important negative facts, as Iran’s refusal to suspend enriching uranium.
On Tehran-Washington talks over Iraq, the letter present a short historic of the negotiations and “recommends” the following points to be taken by the media:
Insist that all the previous round of talks has taken place on American requests;
That Iran accepted to help the Iraqi Government and people, and on the condition the talks would be limited to the Iraqi problem only;
++ Iran is a friend of the Iraq government of Mr. Nouri al Maleki;
++ Iran’s aim is the stability and peace for the Iraqi people;
The only reason the authorities insists on keeping the people ignorant of the harsh realities is that they want to win the exercise at any cost.
++ Securing Iran’s interests at home and at the regional level;
++ Emphasis on the point that if the US leaves Iraq, peace and security would return to Iraq;
++ That the US must allow Iraqis deal with their own problems, including establishing security and peace;
++ If the US honnours its engagements, peace would return to the war-torn Iraq;
++ Despite statements by the Bush Administration, the US and its allies know that they need Iran to establish peace in Iraq;
++ Hence, Washington needs Iran to get out of Iraqi quagmire;
++ For this to happen, the Bush Administration needs the help of Iran for its regional policy to succeed;
++ Insist that security in Iraq without Iran help is difficult to reach and
++ Iran never accepts any foreign intervention in its internal affairs or foreign violation of its land, air and maritime spaces.
This is exactly the line all Iranian media adopted over Iran-US talks on Iraq, insisting, among other points, on the “impossibility” for the Americans to get out of the Iraqi quagmire if they continue to ignore the weight of Iran in the region.
The letter then deals with the forthcoming Majles (Parliament) elections, reminds that “like every time in such periods, as the enemies try to highlight Iranian people’s despair, dissatisfaction with the Government, infuse hopelessness to Iranian people, to make them indifferent towards the elections, presented as fake and a parody,
-- The role of the media must be to fight this propaganda,
-- To divulgate enemies’ plots,
-- To highlight the enthusiasm of the people for the elections,
On orders from Khameneh'i, more than 200 publications have been shut in Iran since 2000
-- To stop from any item that would confuse the people and prevents a high turn out,
-- To insist on the importance of elections, reminding the massive participation of the voters at all the previous elections.
The SCNS recommends the media to be “ready to counter-attack” British press campaign against Iran on the anniversary of the capture of British soldiers and boats in Iran territorial waters two years ago, as well as the campaign the UN High Commissariat for the Refugees prepares against Iran concerning the return of Afghan refugees in Iran etc.
“The order, coming from the SCNS, is aimed at limiting further the already much curtailed freedom for the Iranian press and journalists”, Mr. Masha’allah Shamsolva’ezin, a veteran journalist told the Persian service of the BBC.
On orders from the Leader of the Islamic regime of Iran, since 2002, more than 200 titles, most of them independent or reformist has been shut, dozen of influential and popular newsmen have been jailed, silenced, or forced to leave the country.
“In the past, the authorities would tell the media what to write and what not to write, but this is the first time that the guidelines come directly from the SCNS. This is bad news for the freedom of newspapers and the carrier of journalists”, he observed, adding: “In the one hand, Mr. Ahmadinejad wants the Iranian participate to his celebration of nuclear victory, on the other, he wants to keep them ignoring what is the reasons of celebration”.
But for “RoozOnline, “the only reason the authorities insists on keeping the people ignorant of the harsh realities is that elections are nearing and they want to win the exercise at any cost”. ENDS SCNS LETTER 7308