by Ray McGovern
With all the current hype about the "threat" from Iran, it is time to review the record--and especially the significant bits and pieces that find neither ink nor air in our Israel-friendly, Fawning Corporate Media (FCM).
First, on the chance you missed it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said publicly that Iran "doesn't directly threaten the United States." Her momentary lapse came while answering a question at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 14.
Fortunately for her, most of her FCM fellow travelers must have been either jet-lagged or sunning themselves poolside when she made her unusual admission. And those who were present did Clinton the favor of disappearing her gaffe and ignoring its significance. (All one happy traveling family, you know.)
But she said it. It's on the State Department Web site. Those who had been poolside could have read the text after showering. They might have recognized a real story there. Granted, the substance was so off-message that it would probably not have been welcomed by editors back home.
In a rambling comment, Clinton had charged (incorrectly) that, despite President Barack Obama's reaching out to the Iranian leaders, he had elicited no sign they were willing to engage:
"Part of the goal -- not the only goal, but part of the goal -- that we were pursuing was to try to influence the Iranian decision regarding whether or not to pursue a nuclear weapon. And, as I said in my speech, you know, the evidence is accumulating that that [pursuing a nuclear weapon] is exactly what they are trying to do, which is deeply concerning, because it doesn't directly threaten the United States, but it directly threatens a lot of our friends, allies, and partners here in this region and beyond." (Emphasis added)
Qatar Afraid? Not So Much
The moderator turned to Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani and invited him to give his perspective on "the danger that the Secretary just alluded to"if Iran gets the bomb."
Al-Thani pointed to Iran's "official answer" that it is not seeking to have a nuclear bomb; instead, the Iranians "explain to us that their intention is to use these facilities for their peaceful reactors for electricity and medical use"
"We have good relations with Iran," he added. "And we have continuous dialogue with the Iranians." The prime minister added, "the best thing for this problem is a direct dialogue between the United States and Iran," and "dialogue through messenger is not good."
Al-Thani stressed that, "For a small country, stability and peace are very important," and intimated -- diplomatically but clearly -- that he was at least as afraid of what Israel and the U.S. might do, as what Iran might do.