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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Iran and the Bomb: A Presidential Whopper Goes Unchallenged

by George Maschke
Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 09:00:09 AM EST
At a White House press conference convened on Thursday, 26 January 2005, in response to a reporter's question regarding under what parameters the U.S. might find Iran's nuclear power program acceptable, President George W. Bush warned, "And the Iranians have said, we want a [nuclear] weapon." However, Bush's claim is completely untrue: the Iranian government has consistently denied that it has any desire to acquire a nuclear weapon. No one in the White House press corps challenged the President on this.
How could the President of the United States utter such a blatant falsehood at a nationally televised press conference? I am inclined to believe that the President was not consciously attempting to deceive. Perhaps his misapprehension stems from CNN's mistranslation of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks at a press conference held on 14 January 2005. CNN erroneously quoted Ahmadinejad as saying, "the use of nuclear weapons is Iran's right." In fact, what he had said was, "The use of nuclear energy and technology is Iran's right." CNN very publicly apologized for the error. President Bush should have been briefed on this. If he wasn't, then why not?


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