'In the months and years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Western media became filledwith hand-wringing attempts to excuse its support for a crime of aggression predicated on lies. Today, as the US turns its imperial gaze to Iran, many are concerned that the corporate media is making all the same ‘mistakes’ again. But are they really mistakes? Or is this simply what the mainstream media does?
As journalist Mehdi Hasan asked in June, “Have we learned nothing from the Iraq war?” He explained this question by adding that:
the U.S. media appears to be falling into a familiar pattern, providing a sympathetic platform for the administration without fundamentally questioning its premises.
A more serious interrogation would go one step further, though. If the corporate media promotes US-led imperialism by design, for example, it is structurally unwilling or incapable of ‘learning its lesson’ from Iraq. In other words, the constant push for war in the Middle East is not a chink in the corporate media’s armour, but an inborn feature. And we need only peel back the layers of propaganda on Iran to see how media support for US aggression is business as usual.
Iran, and ‘violating the nuclear deal’
On 1 July, for example, the Guardian claimed that Iran had ‘broken the nuclear deal’:
It explained that Iran had breached its limits on uranium stockpiles, which:
follows the US withdrawal from the deal last year and frustration in Tehran that EU states have been unable to do more to counterbalance the results of US sanctions.
There are two major issues here. Firstly, Iran’s actions are in line with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal). Because Article 26 of the deal states that Iran will react if the US re-imposes sanctions, which is what happened in August 2018. The joint plan reads:
The U.S. Administration… will refrain from re-introducing or re-imposing the sanctions specified in Annex II that it has ceased applying under this JCPOA, without prejudice to the dispute resolution process provided for under this JCPOA. The U.S. Administration… will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions. Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions specified in Annex II, or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part. [emphasis added]
The second major issue is the Guardian‘s use of language. Note how the US ‘withdrew’ from the Iran nuclear deal, while Iran ‘breaks’ it.'
Read more: The corporate media’s failures on Iraq – and now Iran – aren’t ‘mistakes’. They’re part of its DNA