Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran with lies, lies, lies

Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
Nuclear deal review meeting in Tehran August 9, 2015. © Raheb Homavandi
The Associated Press – with great fanfare - ran an “exclusive” story masquerading what was in fact a glaring propaganda piece, according to which, under the P5+1, UN-ratified nuclear deal with Iran, the country would carry out some of the inspections of its own “sensitive sites.”

There was nothing specific in the piece. The crucial document AP alleges to have “seen” was not even the final signed agreement between Iran and the IAEA. AP did not quote any passage from the document. The bombastic “exclusive” tag relied just on the opening paragraph’s sensationalist language:

"Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the UN agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press."

The article states nothing specifically. “Own inspectors” – in this context - means that Iran, according to the agreement, is allowed to exclude “inspectors” from states which have their own confrontational agenda. Everyone knows who the usual suspects are.

According to the final agreement, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors must always be present at any inspection. The additional presence of Iranian experts allows them to track the selected UN inspectors; some of them may be outright spies, which was exactly the case with the 1990s UN inspections of Iraq.

Managers shall be managed

Iran security expert Gary Sick was among the first to identify AP’s falsehoods.
Here, in synthesis, is what everyone involved and/or following the Iranian nuclear dossier must know about nuclear residue testing.

Under the terms of the so-called “managed access” procedures agreed between the P5+1 and Iran, “the inspected party may take environmental swipe samples at a particular site in the presence of the IAEA inspectors using swabs and containment bags provided by the IAEA to prevent cross contamination. According to former IAEA officials, this is an established procedure.”

Scientists agree that, “the process ensures the integrity of the inspection operation and the samples for all parties.”

READ MORE: Russia & Iran reach agreement on S-300 air defense systems delivery – deputy foreign minister

Here, in detail, are the key facts regarding environmental sampling and managed access regarding specifically the controversial Iranian military-industrial site in Parchin. The source is unimpeachable: Tarif Rauf is a former head of verification and security policy coordination at the IAEA, reporting directly to the Director-General.

To his credit, the head of the IAEA Yukiya Amano, released a statement seriously dressing down AP’s sensationalism. Yamano stresses the agreements are “confidential” – as in AP did not read anything; and he defends the procedures as “technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices.” Yamano – who got his job via American influence - could never be accused of being an Iran-appeaser.

What is AP up to?

AP, an American news agency whose dispatches are reproduced in full by countless newspapers and magazines all across the world, once again is being used as a crude propaganda vehicle – just like US corporate media as a whole was used as a crude propaganda vehicle in the run-up towards the invasion, occupation and destruction of Iraq.

At a micro level, this is yet another stance of the rampant politicization of the IAEA. Washington has been doing this for years.

READ MORE: Iran discloses info about past nuclear activities to IAEA

At a macro level, the implications are really serious. The “exclusive” went out at an extremely sensitive point of the relentless campaign by the US War Party and the Israel lobby against the Vienna deal.

There’s only one purpose for selling this piece not as an Op-Ed but as an “unbiased”, fact-based breaking news story: To convince wavering politicians, all of them Democrats, on Capitol Hill, that the Vienna deal is a bad deal.
Especially because none of these politicians will be reading Noam Chomsky’s more detailed debunking of a Washington cottage industry; the demonization of Iran.

AP at least removed some – but not all - of its allegations from the original “exclusive”. But damage has been done. If this had originated from media based in BRICS nations, especially Russia, China and Brazil, one can imagine the “international community” outrage. AP being exceptionalist-based, they might have thought they could get away with it. Well, they can’t.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.