As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, September 07, 2009

All In The Emphasis

You can kind of see how journalism can set an agenda by looking at news accounts of today's press conference remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In the United States, where Ahmadinejad is seen as a more consequential leader than Ali Khamenei, and where talk of bombing Iranian nuclear facilities has been in the air for years, the President is described as brazen and defiant, quoted as saying that discussion about the country's nuclear program is "finished". In Britian, where such antipathy is less pronounced, the media report emphasizes the other half of Admadinejad's statement:

Iran's president has ruled out any discussion of its "undeniable" right to nuclear energy, but proposed talks with global powers on its peaceful use.

Speaking at a news conference, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also proposed a public debate with President Barack Obama of the United States, Iran's main foe.

A US-set deadline is approaching for Iran to stop nuclear enrichment, which Washington says could be to make arms.
Mr Ahmadinejad said deadlines were "incompatible" with the world's needs.

"From our point of view, Iran's nuclear issue is finished. We continue our work within the framework of global regulations and in close interaction with the International Atomic Energy Agency," he said.

"We will never negotiate over the undeniable rights of the Iranian nation."

He said Iran's co-operation with the international community would follow two tracks, developing clean atomic energy for peaceful purposes and preventing a proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Now, Ahmadinejad is eliding the point, given that the IAEA is calling their efforts mired in "stalemate" because of Tehran's refusal to clarify fully the questions about their nuclear program. However, both the American press accounts and the BBC's are correct. Ahmadinejad did say that the nuclear issue is finished and that his nation has an undeniable right to nuclear energy. He also said he wants global talks about peaceful use of that nuclear energy. You could emphasize the defiance, or emphasize the agreement to global talks. I guess it depends on what interests you want to serve.

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