Guardian report on NBC interview with Iran’s president omits Holocaust remarks

The Guardian’s Washington Bureau Chief, Dan Roberts, penned a 500 word report today based on an exclusive NBC interview last week with the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani.  Here’s the headline:


The following few opening passages provides a good sense of the message being advanced by Roberts in his Sept. 19 report:

Iran‘s new president Hassan Rouhani has told an American television audience he is hopeful of a diplomatic breakthrough over Tehran’s nuclear weapons programme, insisting his country had no intention of developing weapons of mass destruction.

Speaking before a crucial visit to the United Nations in New York, Rouhani claimed his government had “full power and authority” from Iran’s supreme leader to negotiate over the nuclear programme, which the US fears is close to creating a bomb.

“The problem won’t be from our side,” said Rouhani in his first interview with western journalists since coming to power. “We have sufficient political latitude to solve this problem.”

“Under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever,” he added in initial clips of the interview with NBC aired on Wednesday night

The rest of Roberts’ story similarly conveyed the message of a new “moderate” Iranian president seeking reconciliation with the West. There was nothing in the report to suggest to readers that Rouhani so much as mentioned Israel or touched on the Holocaust denial of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

Interestingly, however, here’s the headline at the report detailing the interview (with NBC’s Ann Curry), which Roberts linked to his Guardian report: 


Here are the first few paragraphs:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed Israel for causing “injustice to the people” of the Middle East during an exclusive interview with NBC News in which he also called for peace, saying Iran is not “looking for war.”

Unlike his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani struck a moderate tone on many issues, but he deflected a question from NBC News’ Ann Curry about whether he believed that the Holocaust was “a myth.”

I’m not a historian. I’m a politician,” he replied. “What is important for us is that the countries of the region and the people grow closer to each other, and that they are able to prevent aggression and injustice.”

NBC also noted this:

Rouhani described Israel as “an occupier and usurper government” that “does injustice to the people of the region, and has brought instability to the region, with its warmongering policies.

Hassan Rouhani, in addition to characterizing Israel as a warmongering country which destabilizes the region, refused to give his opinion on the “question” of whether the murder of six million Jews ever happened by explaining that he’s not really a historian but, rather, a politician.

Dan Roberts, in cherry picking parts of the interview consistent with the desired narrative, and omitting the Iranian president’s demonization of Israel and refusal to acknowledge that the Holocaust occurred, demonstrates that he’s not really a journalist but, rather, a Guardian Left propagandist.    

18 replies »

  1. He should have struck out and made a clarifying statement about the Holocaust this would have done a lot for tension in the region. It would have made the Jews in Iran itself feel safer.

    But his remarks on the wars that Israel have fought especially recently and the instability caused by the settlements are no different than you hear at any drippy Liberal Party conference and way way better than the idiot Ahmedinijad. Wrongly Israel is perceived in Iran to be leading the US by the nose over sanctions and he would lose all credibility at home if he were to fail to mention this narrative. Also of course in his eyes Israel could very very easily destroy his country unlike the vice versa.

    Again we have a situation that if this site were to acknowledge that other narratives exist that are not crazy it would have more credibility.

    However the article has the headline about the promise to never build WMD so I have to say it is pretty balanced on the whole.

  2. I don’t have a Phd in medicine but I know smiking is bad few, excessive drinking is bad for you and saturated fats are not good for you.

    “I’m not a historian. I’m a politician,” precisely Rouhani, it is because you are a politician you can talk like a snake.

    • “We now know we can’t trust what he says.”

      And yet you trusted what Ahmadenijad said . How many thousands of times have we heard “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” You are trying to have you cake, eat it and save a bit for later.

      • Becaseu Hamadenijad told exactly what the supreme leader of Iran belive. Rouhani is just the mask of moderation Iran puts on to make the west belve it has changed.

  3. Roberts is the journalistic equivalent of a cop who just want a conviction,as opposed to actually solving the case.

  4. The friendly face of terror

    and the NYT, Al Guardian, DerStandard are instantly falling on their knees in adoration and spread the good news of a friendly terror state
    The content of the last article was already denied by the regime.
    The typical sign of a dictatorship, first show trialing or incarcerating without any trial, then setting political prisoners free, purely arbitrarily.
    This is the rule of force, not the rule of right

  5. It started with the elections in Iran. The slightly deranged Ahmadinejad, the pathological holocaust denier, has disappeared. Instead, a modest-looking moderate, Hassan Rouhani, was elected.

    Such a choice would have been impossible without the approval of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. He has to approve all candidates. It is obvious that Rouhani was his personal choice.

    What does that mean? it is quite clear: the sly, devious Persians are cheating the whole world again. They will continue, of course, to build their bomb. But the naïve Americans will believe their lies, precious time will be lost, and one day the Iranians will say: Now we have got the bomb! From now on, we can do what we want! Especially, destroy the Zionist Entity!

  6. Sorry if it punctures your theory about bias at The Guardian, but the reason I didn’t include Rouhani’s comments about Israel in my piece is that NBC didn’t release that portion of their interview until a day after I wrote the article. Please don’t let that get in the way of any more random ad-hominem attacks though.
    all best,
    Dan Roberts

    • @ Dan Roberts;
      did you not contact NBC to find out if the interview they released is the complete interview or an edited version before your knee jerk reaction?

      Will you now write about the missing parts?

      In english sentences begin with capital letters but don’t let that get in the way of poor journalism on your part.

      All the best,