The British media have tried to downplay Iran’s recent civilian nuclear achievements with a range of tactics ranging from imposing partial blackout to giving coverage only to question the reliability of Iran’s announcement.
Iran announced on Wednesday that it successfully loaded the first domestically-made nuclear fuel rods containing 20-percent enriched uranium into its research reactor in Tehran, which produces vital radioisotopes for cancer and other patients, and incidentally could stop operating because western countries refused to sell Iran its needed fuel.
Iran also announced that it has installed thousands of highly efficient and faster centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.
The state-run BBC, which normally allocates ample space on its website to stories featuring international concern at Iran’s 20-percent uranium enrichment, avoided any reference to the enrichment level of the fuel rods Iran loaded into Tehran reactor as well as the name of the reactor or for what purposes it is used.
The BBC story ran in a fashion as if mentioning those details could compromise the outlet’s former efforts to pretend 20-percent-enrichment under the close supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspectors – who were also present in Tehran on Wednesday — is a provocative step toward building nuclear bombs.
More interestingly the BBC which usually ensures any nuclear news from Iran supplies its news writers with material for at least a few days of anti-Iranian propaganda, removed the story from its main page altogether on Thursday and the topic was present on its news main page only in the form of a video report.
The Independent in its story “Nuclear stunt shows Iran’s uncompromising mood” only mentioned what the achievements were in the fifth paragraph after a lengthy effort to pretend that the announced advances are no big deals and only serve as public stunts for domestic population.
Then came the story in a few lines and yet again diversion to the Israeli and the US talks of military option against Iran over what they term the country’s intention to build nukes.
The paper did not refer to the western nuclear accusations against Iran, nor did it mention Iranian achievements were unveiled at the presence of the IAEA inspectors or that the inspectors have been keeping a close look at Iran’s nuclear activities all along.
There was also no talk of Iran’s repeated declarations that it wants 20-percent-enriched uranium for civilian and medical purposes, as loading of fuel rods into Tehran reactor clearly showed, still less the fact that making fuel plates in itself represents a technological leap that the US and its allies saw Iran incapable thereof, thus accusing Iran of wanting the uranium for other hidden purposes.
The Guardian gave a wider coverage to the story but tried to question the factuality of Iran’s developments.
“Experts, however, have questioned Iran’s ability to make such sophisticated machines in industrial quantity,” the paper said in reference to the announcement of new generation of centrifuges at Natanz facility.
Other British media also followed a more or less similar plotline in their stories on Iran’s nuclear achievements unveiled on Wednesday, including The Times which kept its readers waiting for the details on the nuclear advancements of Iran for more than a dozen paragraphs.
Even there the story was surrounded by all the disparate subjects including the US and Israeli military threats against Iran, French accusations of an “Iranian military nuclear programme” and Tehran’s letter to the EU to express readiness to hold talks on its nuclear program.
The latter was especially of interest for The Times as it tried to pretend that the offer of talks contradicts what the paper called Iran’s “driving home its resolve to pursue a nuclear programme.”
The paper let the paragraph on the letter immediately follow a singled out quotation from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who said on Wednesday “our nuclear path will continue.”