Wallace interview with Ahmadinejad was little more than deliberate demonization

on 35 Comments

Since Mike Wallace passed away we’ve run a few pieces highlighting his coverage of Israel/Palestine. But not all of his work was exemplary. From Nima Shirazi’s March 2010 piece entitled, “ ‘Néjàd Vu, All Over Again: The Media, Pretext, Context, & 9/11“:

In early August 2006, Iranian President Ahmadinejad was interviewed on the CBS program 60 Minutes by veteran journalist Mike Wallace. A heavily-edited, hour-long version of the discussion, featuring overdubbed narration by Wallace, was broadcast nationally. In response to Wallace’s question about Ahmadinejad’s supposed proposal to “wipe Israel off the map” (which Wallace claimed the Iranian President had “said time and again”), Ahmadinejad replied, “I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government.” Wallace then editorialized (via post-production voice-over) that this “fabrication” of Israel followed the Holocaust, “which [Ahmadinejad]’s said may also have been fabricated,” and continued, “Last December, Ahmadinejad said the Europeans had created a myth of the Holocaust.”

The interview made headlines around the world and Ahmadinejad’s reputation as a genocidal threat to Israel and a confrontational denier of the Holocaust was duly cemented in the hearts and minds of Western audiences. But those threats and denials came from Wallace’s voice-over, not Ahmadinejad’s actual words.

A few days after the CBS hatchet-job was broadcast, and at the request of Ahmadinejad himself, the complete, unedited, 90-minute interview was shown on C-SPAN. Thus, it became clear what had been deliberately omitted from the widely-seen 60 Minutes version. Apparently, Ahmadinejad’s response to Wallace’s question about Israel was truncated mid-sentence and his subsequent explanation was cut outright. This is what he actually said, but which CBS refused to show (keep in mind, nothing but the first half of the first sentence was aired):

I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government and I have talked about the solution. The solution is democracy. We have said ‘allow Palestinian people to participate in a free and fair referendum to express their views.’ What we are saying only serves the cause of durable peace. We want durable peace in that part of the world. A durable peace will only come about with once the views of the people are met.

So we said ‘allow the people of Palestine to participate in a referendum to choose their desired government,’ and of course, for the war to come an end as well. Why are they refusing to allow this to go ahead? Even the Palestinian administration and government which has been elected by the people is being attacked on a daily basis, and its high-ranking officials are assassinated and arrested. Yesterday, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament was arrested, elected by the people, mind you. So how long can this go on?

We believe that this problem has to be dealt with fundamentally. I believe that the American government is blindly supporting this government of occupation. It should lift its support, allow the people to participate in free and fair elections. Whatever happens let it be. We will accept and go along. The result will be as you said earlier, sir.

No military threats, only a call for democratic elections and a government that represents the will of the people. But none of that made it into the final cut of the interview shown on CBS.

Rather than allow Ahmadinejad to speak for himself, Wallace and his production team at CBS decided to create their own narrative, shaped by decontextualized quotes, selective editing, and subjective voice-overs by the renowned interviewer. As a result, the interview that aired was little more than deliberate demonization, anti-Iranian propaganda, and purposefully obfuscated what the Iranian President had actually said to his interlocutor in order to further propagate a false narrative of an Iran is an “existential threat” to Israel and which officially denies the Holocaust.  In response to a question about the severity of the editing of Ahmadinejad’s response to Wallace’s Israel question, Robert G. Anderson, the producer of the interview segment, reportedly stated, “I made that edit and I stand by it and completely disagree with your misinterpretation.”

As a result of this undeniable censorship and intentional obfuscation of truth in service of propaganda by a mainstream media outlet and respected reporter, Mike Wallace won his 21st Emmy Award for the Ahmadinejad interview.

About Nima Shirazi

Nima Shirazi is co-editor of the Iran, Iraq and Turkey pages for the online magazine Muftah. His political analysis can be found on his blog, WideAsleepinAmerica.com, where this post first appeared. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima.

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35 Responses

  1. Antidote
    April 12, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Worth watching, for comparison: Wallace, incredulous but not demonizing, interviews the Shah in the mid-70s

    • Charon
      April 13, 2012, 1:46 am

      Interesting… Thanks for the link Antidote. I’m not entirely sure I would take his word considering the fact that he was given power by the CIA in 1953 (Operation AJAX). One of the primary reasons for the revolution.

      The world quickly forgets, but prior to 1979, Iran was an ally of the US and Israel. Post-revolution Iran has turned into another dictatorship and many Iranians realize this and resent it. Israel even convinced a post-revolution Iran to initially strike Iraq’s nuclear reactor despite them being called the little Satan. And they’ve always had some behind-the-scenes trading going on, mainly weapons. The truth is stranger than fiction.

      It is interesting that Pahlavi would say that though. He looked nervous. And he cut himself off. Makes me wonder.

      • dahoit
        April 13, 2012, 9:27 am

        The Iranian regime is an Islamic democracy,and its government is legitimate and supported by most of Iran’s people.They won the last election cleanly despite Western bloviators claims.
        Israel is a racist theocracy that excludes and demonizes a great part of its population.
        Yawn.Propaganda is tiresome.
        Do you think having to choose between tweedle dee(Obomba)and tweedle dum,(Romney) is not a dictatorship in some form?A choice of two moronic clowns of equal gravitas of idiocy?

  2. iamuglow
    April 12, 2012, 1:54 pm

    That is “deliberate demonization”. Amazing how even with a ‘free media” it it can happen time and time again….and no one calls them out for it.

    My favorite Ahmadinejad interview is the one where George Stamatopoulos(?) ran with the ‘Osama is Iran meme’.

  3. ritzl
    April 12, 2012, 2:03 pm

    Just reflecting here. Maybe the price to be paid for Wallace’s questioning of Israel/Zionism was this highly edited interview. Maybe(?) there’s a sad, but enforced balancing act in play. The principle point, to me, is that the initial, real, motivated observations/reporting come out, to be built upon, and the subsequent, suspect “reconciliation-ary” reporting has to be take for what it’s worth. Enforced.

    W&M, Carter, Goldstone, MJ, here, and Beinart to a lesser degree. But nonetheless, the truth (or the stridently-questioned prevailing view), at intervals, percolates up and out in major media.

    On multiple-choice tests you are counseled to go with your first inclination. The same applies here to Wallace and all the above. Their first take was and should be the operative one.

  4. Hamishe_Sabz
    April 12, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Mr. Shirazi, please pay back what NIAC gave you and distance yourself from Trita Parsi. You want to wrote about iraq, palestine, go ahead. But don’t start defending the AN. All this will come back and haunt you.

    • maggielorraine
      April 12, 2012, 2:23 pm

      Hamishe, I must have missed this whole thing. Can you tell me what the issue with the NIAC? Can you explain?

    • Annie Robbins
      April 12, 2012, 2:24 pm

      i am not understanding hamishe.

      those threats and denials came from Wallace’s voice-over, not Ahmadinejad’s actual words.

      do you mean you would rather not hear the actual words? do you mean nima is wrong? how does accuracy hinder the american public? for those who do not speak farsi don’t you think nima is providing a service? how will that ‘come to haunt him?’

      perhaps i am just not understanding what it is you are saying.

    • Nima Shirazi
      April 12, 2012, 3:09 pm

      And so the trolling begins. Thank you, Hamishe_Sabz for revealing yourself so quickly. Challenging propaganda really must burn you up. Your weak attempt to disguise yourself as an Iranian activist (“hamishe sabz” means “always green” is Farsi) is not only transparent, it’s absurd. Chances are you’re just trying to work your way through grad school, either in Tel Aviv or Tehrangeles.

      Annie, don’t waste your time with this one. Just recall that he defends the racist desecration of the Mamilla cemetery and refers to Palestinians as “Palys,” defends IDF propaganda and dismisses the inherent exclusivity and discrimination of Zionism. And that’s when he’s not being overtly disgusting.

      Regarding last summer’s Gaza Flotilla, he actually wrote this:

      What is this “solidarity” word these terrorist sympathizers keep using? You’re in “solidarity” to Hamas who’s charter calls for the death of all Jews? Not Israelis but JEWS?? There moronic sympathizers, especially the Irish, need to stick to making alcohol, because the have NO CLUE on true world history, a bunch of wanna-be “save the world” losers who are ignorant to the true motives of a movement called “Palestinians”. This is Jew hating, never been anything else since 1948. You lost AGAIN.

      This guy is a troll, plain and simple. Better to be ignored from here on out.

      And watch out, Hamishe_Sabz, your own history of bigotry and ignorance will come back to haunt you. Oh wait, it just did.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 12, 2012, 7:07 pm

        Nima, i couldn’t help it and burst out laughing when i got to “especially the Irish, need to stick to making alcohol, because the have NO CLUE on true world history”

        !!!! hysterical.

      • Citizen
        April 13, 2012, 7:32 am

        Yep, Annie, that slur on the Irish stuck out like a sore thumb; it seems the commenter wants us to believe he or she is an Iranian dissenter.

      • Kathleen
        April 13, 2012, 9:36 am

        The Irish, the Polish, the Episcopalians.

      • Cliff
        April 12, 2012, 7:29 pm

        Nima you have an excellent bullshit detector. Zionist sockpuppets who have been banned often resurface here under various new identities.

        Its pathetic but funny too. Glad you took the time to reveal Hamishe_Sabz for the troll that he his.

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        April 15, 2012, 2:55 am

        Im not zionist nor have i been banned? wtf…i thought you guys like dialogues……

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        April 15, 2012, 2:53 am

        lol, what the IDF pays me doesnt even get me through high school..jk
        the comment was from top youtube and i think i mentioned it…google it…i wouldn’t be able to come up with such gold statements…and I live within driving distance of where you are..just By F train in fact..wanna grab a beer?
        and yeah, unlinke you i actually work for my money….and dont have time to monitor this blog 24-7

    • subconscious
      April 12, 2012, 7:19 pm


      In general, Nima Shirazi’s views are not the same as those of NIAC and Trita Parsi. In any case, agreement of 2 people on a given issue does not imply one is on the pay of the other. Otherwise, one would wonder if you’re being paid by the Flat Earth Society. However, regarding what you call Shirazi “defending the AN,” I’ve added my comments below.

    • Shingo
      April 12, 2012, 9:23 pm


      Please stop working for the MEK. They are a terrorist group and you could end up spending the rest of your life in prison.

  5. Rusty Pipes
    April 12, 2012, 2:41 pm

    From the end of the deleted segment:

    We believe that this problem has to be dealt with fundamentally. I
    believe that the American government is blindly supporting this
    government of occupation. It should lift its support, allow the people
    to participate in free and fair elections. Whatever happens let it be.
    We will accept and go along. The result will be as you said earlier,

    WALLACE: Look, I mean no disrespect. Let’s make a deal. I will listen
    to your complete answers if you’ll stay for all of my questions. My
    concern is that we might run out of time.

    AHMADINEJAD: Well, you’re free to ask me any questions you please, and
    I am hoping that I’m free to be able to say whatever is on my mind. You
    are free to put any question you want to me, and of course, please give
    me the right to respond fully to your questions to say what is on my

    Wallace said that he was willing to listen to Ahmadinejad’s complete answers. His editor did not give the American public a similar opportunity. But hey, the Bush Administration was breathing down their necks and they got another Emmy; so it was a win for the show.

  6. talknic
    April 12, 2012, 3:13 pm

    Once something goes thru the Ziofier it becomes un-recognizeababble ….

  7. Chu
    April 12, 2012, 3:13 pm

    That will be the Mike Wallace I always will remember.

  8. Brewer
    April 12, 2012, 4:30 pm

    To be fair to Wallace, here is what he said when he himself was interviewed by Sean Hannity on the topic:

    MW: He (Ahmadinejead) is not trying to project an image. Look, it’s very difficult. I know…I found it difficult to understand, but the more that I sat there, and the more time that I spent with the man, he is…I’m not suggesting…he despises, if you will…oh, he doesn’t despise, but he doesn’t like the United States. He doesn’t like the United States for the reason that it’s supporting the Zionist entity. He doesn’t talk about Israel.
    SH: So you don’t think he’s an anti-Semite?
    MW: He himself, an anti-Semite, an anti-Jew…anti-Jew?
    SH: Yes.
    MW: No, I don’t.
    MW: I am with you 100% in what I perceived to be the individual that I was about to sit down and talk to. And he made his case, fairly rationally. It wasn’t…it was a conversation. He did not propagandize and so forth. He…when I began to talk to him about America, about the United States, and oppression, he had his facts down solid about why he feels sorry, he says, for President Bush. Why? And then he starts in about the polls of President Bush, and how they’re going down, and how he’s going to leave office, and it’s sad that he’s going to leave office and leave behind a people who don’t really approve of him. His approval ratings are what they are. And what is the standing of the United States in the world generally under President Bush. And it’s…we weren’t having an argument. I mean, we were having a discussion. And he was infinitely more rational than I had expected him to be.
    SH: And would you deny, Mike, for example, if you ever sat down with Adolf Hitler, or Joseph Stalin…
    MW: (laughing)
    SH: Oh, wait. Hang on.
    MW: No, look, I couldn’t agree with you more.
    SH: Would they seem, perhaps, informed, smart, reasonable, even though they were evil?
    MW: Well, it’s a perfectly sensible question. As far as I am…Adolf Hitler? Good Lord. I mean, the man was such a hateful, hateful man.
    SH: So is Ahmadinejead, Mike. Listen to his statements.
    MW: What…running a Holocaust, which the Iranians have not done, as you know, running a Holocaust, doing that sort of thing, slaughtering six million Jews, that’s not what this man is talking about doing.
    SH: But Mike, but let me answer that. Mike, but his statements are such that he wants to go beyond that. His statements are annihilate, wipe off the Earth.
    MW: No, no, no.
    SH: The world.
    MW: Hold it, hold it.
    SH: Wipe off the map.
    MW: Yes, he says wipe off the map, and of course I asked him over and over about that. He says in effect, hey, it’s perfectly sensible to do…pardon me. It’s perfectly sensible for them, and I’m not quoting directly, obviously, because I don’t have the translation in front of me, to…for them to…it’s perfectly sensible, if there is a Holocaust, and let’s buy the fact that there was a Holocaust. Where did the Holocaust take place? Did it take place in an Arab neighborhood? Did it take place in Jerusalem? No. It took place in Germany. Then it seems to me, under those circumstances, take Israel, the Zionist entity, he called it, move it to Germany. Move it to Europe. That’s where it happened.
    SH: Do you agree with him?
    MW: Move it to the United States.
    SH: Do you think that’s a legitimate argument?
    MW: It’s an argument. I’m not a commentator. You are.
    SH: You think he’s a better man than we think? Do you think he’s a good man?
    MW: I wouldn’t call him a good man, no. I think that he’s a more reasonable…he’s self-assured. He is self-righteous. He is savvy. He has studied. Do you know what he does? He has a PhD in civil engineering. And…
    SH: Well, he certainly won’t let his people be free. There’s not the freedom…
    MW: What does that mean, free?
    SH: Well, I would argue that women…
    MW: Are you suggesting that he wasn’t elected by his people?
    SH: I don’t believe that those elections are honest in any way. No, I do not.
    MW: Well, all I can tell you is…
    SH: I believe if there was an honest election, people would…
    MW: Khamenei, who is the supreme leader, really, in Iran, if there’s one man to whom this man, Ahma…you pronounce his name better than I do…that the president of Iran defers to, it is the man who they call the supreme leader, who is the ayatollah, the highest ayatollah. 27 years ago, I went to the holy city of Qum to talk to Khomenei, which is one of the reasons, I’m sure, that they decided that they were going to let me talk, or he was going to let me talk. I know that I am making him sound more human, more surely than I expected, and by all means, more human than you feel that he is. You feel that he’s dead evil, and there’s no doubt about it, and so forth. What you’re telling me is that some of your best friends are Jews, is that it? That’s not what I’m saying. He says, let the people who were responsible for the Holocaust, let the Zionists go there and establish their state.
    MW: I think that Khomenei…Khomenei was much more, how to say, hard-minded, much more the kind of man that you’re describing that Ahma…
    SH: Ahmadinejead.
    MW: Ahmadinejead, correct, is. The…I ask you to bring not prejudice, not your own beliefs or prejudices. When you watch him, I’ll be curious to see whether you think that there’s anything reasonable about this man at all.

    • Nima Shirazi
      April 12, 2012, 7:38 pm

      Thanks so much for posting this, Brewer. One wonders, based on Wallace’s pushback against Hannity’s weird nonsense, why he allowed the 60 Minutes interview to air the way it did.

      • Brewer
        April 12, 2012, 10:24 pm

        From memory, Wallace did try to have the Ahmadinejad interview aired in its entirety and was overruled. The interview with Hannity might have been part of a compromise he worked out with CBS.
        In a sense, it marked the end of Wallace’s career. His respect for truth made him no longer reliable to the establishment. At the time, I got the sense that the realisation that his establishment-inspired preconceptions were dead wrong rather broke his spirit.

  9. Oklahoma farmer
    April 12, 2012, 4:45 pm

    In 1957 Mike W. went to LR to interview Faubus. I was in the LR medschool at the time, a hot bed of liberals of which I was one. I was so ashamed of Faubus and what he’d done to our state and was hoping for a slaughter by Wallace.

    Well…..the longer the “ambush” went, the more apparent it was Wallace was out of his water. Maybe it was because Wallace was just getting started as a newsman or maybe he’d had a bad day, but Faubus, my most hated gov., tore Wallace from stem to stern.

    You will notice, in the paens to Wallace there is nary a mention of his very first and one of his most important interviews, the one with Orville Faubus.

    Now you know why.

  10. Keith
    April 12, 2012, 4:50 pm

    The interview is typical of what is to be expected from the main stream media, which is an integral part of the doctrinal system. The elites need to communicate with the masses and this is how. Media which provide service to the system and the elites prosper. Those that don’t, don’t. Talk of media reform is a waste of time. The successful main stream media will always represent the views and goals of the elites of which they are a part. Mike Wallace was a member of the elite and shared many of their biases. The notion of truly objective journalism is a myth which serves the media well. People simply need to be aware of this and get most of their information from alternative media sources.

  11. subconscious
    April 12, 2012, 6:44 pm

    Dear Nima Shirazi,

    While your article here seeks to demonstrate disingenuous editing of Ahmadinejad’s statements on the part of the Western media, it also shows your own exclusion of relevant facts which would make Ah.’s comments more nuanced. Ah.’s repeated reference above to a “free and fair referendum” in Palestine has been echoed by various other Iranian officials elsewhere (e.g., on Charlie Rose). However, in the absence of elaboration in this interview, what a Western audience may infer from the phrase “free & fair referendum” would be drastically different from what the IRI officials actually imply.

    In that regard, here’s the Supreme Leader’s (Khamenei’s) speech at last Oct.’s International Conference on Palestinian Intifada in Tehran posted @
    where he states,
    “The solution of the Islamic Republic to the issue of Palestine and this old wound is a clear and logical proposal that is based on political wisdom accepted by global public opinion and it has been presented in detail previously. We neither propose a classical war with the armies of Islamic countries, nor do we propose throwing Jewish immigrants into the sea or intervention of the United Nations and other international organizations. We propose a referendum among the Palestinian people. Just like any other nation, the Palestinian nation has the right to determine its own destiny and to elect its own government. All the original people of Palestine – including Muslims, Christians and Jews and not foreign immigrants – should take part in a general and orderly referendum and determine the future government of Palestine whether they live inside Palestine or in camps or in any other place. The government that is established after the referendum will determine the destiny of non-Palestinian immigrants who migrated to Palestine in the past. This is a fair and logical proposal which global public opinion understands and it can receive support from independent nations and governments.”

    So, the “fair & logical” referendum that the IRI officials peddle, on the one hand, will include Palestinians of Israel/Palestine and refugees and their descendants, and, on the other, will exclude all Jewish Israelis who are either immigrants or their descendants since the advent of Zionist immigration. The fate of these millions of Jewish immigrants and their descendants is to be determined by the gov’t born out of this referendum. This certainly is not the proposed one-state solution, as articulated at Mondoweiss. Needless to say, Khamenei is totally dismissive of the internationally-proposed 2-state sol’n,
    “The two-state idea which has been presented in the self-righteous clothing of “recognizing the Palestinian government as a member of the United Nations” is nothing but giving in to the demands of the Zionists – namely, “recognizing the Zionist government in Palestinian lands”. ”

    With regards to Ah.’s Holocaust denial, he has clearly and on numerous occasions repeated his unequivocal dismissal of the “Holocaust myth” w/in Iran, e.g., at his 2011 Quds (Jerusalem) Day speech as reported @
    where he’s quoted as,
    “Ahmadinejad said the creation of a Palestinian state should be seen as merely a first step toward the annihilation of Israel and the establishment of Palestine in lands that include liberated Israeli territory. “Recognizing the Palestinian state is not the end goal. It is only one step forward toward fully liberating all of Palestine,” Ahmadinejad said. “The Zionist regime is a center of germs and cancerous cells and if it exists in even one small part of Palestine it will mobilize again and hurt everyone,” he warned. “The goal of all believers and seekers of justice should be the disappearance of the Zionist regime,” he said. Ahmadinejad also reiterated his view that the Holocaust was a “lie” used to justify Israel’s creation. “All of the foundations for the creation of this [Israeli] regime were based on a lie and deception, and the Holocaust was one of these big lies,” he said. Ahmadinejad warned the Israelis that they “had no place” in the Middle East. “Your era is over. It is in your interest to return to your homes wherever you came from and don’t make your dirty files more black. You have no place in our region,” he said.”

    The views Ah. peddles in the West are deliberately softened in contrast to those he and other officials propound within the Middle East. I think your analysis of Ah.’s statements and their reflection in the Western media is lacking in the above relevant details. While the Western media may be over-demonizing Ah. and his views, you appear to be over-sanitizing them.

    • Brewer
      April 13, 2012, 9:32 am

      The views Ah. peddles in the West are deliberately……mistranslated by Memri using words like “annihilate” to imply that he means physical destruction. As a long time Ahmadinejad watcher I can assure you he chooses his words very carefully and consistently refers to the political entity when making such remarks. He is also consistent in calling for restoration of the rights of those dispossessed in 1948 and 1967.
      Speaking of which, I came across an authoritative quote on the amount of land possessed by Jews in Israel before the 1948 War.

      “By 1948, the Jews percentage of the total rural and urban land was only 6.6%…”

      – God’s Peoples: Covenant and Land in South Africa, Israel, and Ulster
      By Donald H. Akenson. Cornell University Press page 168

      Donald Harman Akenson (born May 22, 1941, Minneapolis, Minnesota) is a historian and author.
      Akenson received his B.A. from Yale University and his doctorate from Harvard University. He is Professor of History at Queen’s University and Beamish Research Professor at the Institute of Irish Studies,University of Liverpool, and Senior Editor of the McGill-Queen’s University Press. As of 2007 his work included eighteen non-fiction books, including more than a dozen about Irish history, and five novels. Akenson won the Grawemeyer Award for God’s Peoples (1992) and the Trillium Book Award for Conor: The Biography of Conor Cruise O’Brien (1994). His book on the Bible, Surpassing Wonder (1998), was short-listed for the 1999 Governor General’s Award for nonfiction. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Royal Historical Society (UK).

      • subconscious
        April 14, 2012, 5:22 pm

        I’m not sure what MEMRI has to do w/ what I’m saying, since you bring ’em up w/o me referring to them. I was referring to the following points raised in Nima Shirazi’s (NS’s) post. Referring to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s (MA’s) comments censored by CBS, NS writes that MA made “No military threats, only a call for democratic elections and a government that represents the will of the people.” And further that the aired interview “purposefully obfuscated what the Iranian President had actually said to his interlocutor in order to further propagate a false narrative of an Iran is an “existential threat” to Israel and which officially denies the Holocaust.”

        As far as Holocaust denial, there’s ample record of what MA has said. The quotes from the Daily Star that I copied above make his Holocaust denial unambiguous. Here’s a Persian account of MA’s speech at last year’s Quds Day,
        The title of the article reads, “Ahmadinejad on Quds Day: the Holocaust is a grand lie.” And even more recent is his 3/2012 interview w/ German TV, which is posted in English at his own official site at http://www.president.ir/en/36201
        in which he said,
        “How did this nation, this regime came to be? It was a colonialist planning, everyone knows that it created by a lie. They have never been rulers of this country. They have invented a story with the title Holocaust and the damage, the cost for that, had to be paid by the Palestinians. While the Palestinians played no role at all, neither during the 2nd World War, nor in the events afterwards. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a “lie” and accusing Zionist regime of using it to suppress Palestinians. Zionist regime statehood “was a colonialist plan that resulted from a lie,” He said: “They never were rulers of this land.””
        So how much of an exaggeration is it to call Ahmadinejad a Holocaust denier? (This, of course, doesn’t imply that he intends to perpetrate one on Israel.) When I said he softens his rhetoric while in the West, I meant that he changes his tune to things like “I’m only suggesting an impartial investigation.” As far as I can tell, this public overindulgence in Holocaust denial by the Iranian gov’t started w/ the MA administration. In fact, in the debates preceding Iran’s last presidential election several of his rivals questioned his indulgence in this topic as being unacceptable on either diplomatic or moral grounds. (Some of those rivals now languish in jail or are under house arrest.) Khamenei doesn’t seem to indulge in that topic, but if he opposed that kind of rhetoric MA wouldn’t be espousing it.

        As far as your comment that MA has been consistent in supporting the rights of the 48 & 67 refugees, that’s true of all the post-79 Iranian leaders. But my point was that it comes as a package, the other component of which is to consider all Israeli citizens that have been immigrants or their descendants since Zionist settlement of the land as illegitimate and not entitled to participate in the “democratic elections and a government that represents the will of the people” that NS refers to, as evidenced by Khamenei’s statement that I quoted from his own website. Their vision is not the 1-man-1-vote that the 1-staters on this site propound. However, various Iranian leaders (dunno if MA is 1 of them) in the past have also added that they’ll abide by whatever the Palestinians’ legit leaders decide on (though it’s unclear whom they’d consider as legit leaders). American mainstream reporters are often lazy & dishonest, so rather than quoting Iranian officials accurately and then digging further into their positions, simply distort them.

        Roughly speaking, I’d say that the Iranian officials have 3 distinct sets of positions on the Israel-Palestine conflict. One is their diplomatic record. As N. Finkelstein has pointed out, since mid-90s Iran has voted in favor of the international consensus (the 2-state sol’n) at the UN and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. However, internally they maintain a rejectionist position, considering the majority of the Israeli Jewish population as illegitimate usurpers of the land that may need to leave the area in the future. When visiting the West, like deceitful politicians everywhere, they make ambiguous and equivocal statements w/o elaborating on crucial details: “I’m just suggesting an impartial investigation into history. What’s wrong w/ that?” or “I’m suggesting a referendum among all legitimate inhabitants of the land. Isn’t that democratic?”

  12. Daniel Rich
    April 13, 2012, 12:15 am

    CBS – http://www.mediaowners.com/company/cbscorporation.html

    Owner: Summer Redstone – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumner_Redstone

    I don’t believe in coincidences.

  13. Kathleen
    April 13, 2012, 1:53 am

    So glad you put this up Nina. Don’t get me wrong I liked Wallace and his interviews. But those trying to paint him as out on the cutting edge with the I/P issue is absurd. Now he did stick his neck out a few times. But clearly part of the team to keep the I/P issue in the shadows on 60 minutes.

    May he RIP

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