Cablegate: Iran Press: Initial Iran Media Coverage of President Obama
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DE RUEHDIR #0481/01 3121126
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R 081126Z NOV 09
FM RPO DUBAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0611
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHAD/USLO ABU DHABI TC
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHDIR/RPO DUBAI 0612
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 RPO DUBAI 000481
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IR PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: IRAN PRESS: INITIAL IRAN MEDIA COVERAGE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA
NOVEMBER 4 STATEMENT
DUBAI 00000481 001.2 OF 004
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: As of late November 5, Iranian press
coverage of President Obama's November 4 statement on Iran has
been scant, with most domestic coverage focused on the November
4 "National Struggle Against Global Arrogance Day" events. What
coverage there has been was relatively factual, with articles
highlighting President Obama's expression of desire to
re-establish relations with Iran, and consisting essentially of
quotations from the statement. Much of the coverage of
President Obama's November 4 statement also covered or at least
referred to Supreme Leader Khamenei's November 3 negative
comments on US policy towards Iran. END SUMMARY.
2. (SBU) Mehrnews Website (Traditional Conservative):
Relatively short and factual coverage with many quotes from the
President Obama statement, although some implicit editorializing
in the subtitle).
SUBTITLE: While Repeating Unclear Positions..
TITLE: Obama: America Seeks Respectful Relations with Iran:
"Washington is Seeking Relations with Tehran based on bilateral
interests and mutual respect"
"..the time has come for the government of Iran to choose
whether to open its doors to more opportunity and success and
justice for its people or not."
"..the Iranian government must choose. We have heard for 30
years that the Iranian government is opposed to things but now
the question is what sort of future Tehran is pursuing."
The article notes that the West and Iran have had a clash of
opinion re the nature of Iran's peaceful nuclear program. It
says that President Obama again recognized Iran's right for
peaceful use of nuclear power and that the US along with other
Western countries has taken basis steps towards building Iran's
"Diplomatic relations between Washington and Tehran were ended
after the events of November 4, 1979 but I say clearly that the
US is seeking relations is seeking relations with the Islamic
Republic of Iran based on bilateral interests and mutual respect
in a movement beyond past events. The time has come for
creating new relations between Tehran and Washington."
3. (SBU) Kayhan Newspaper (hardline Conservative): As to be
expected, clearly slanted reporting of the President Obama
statement, with many quotes pulled from the statement:
TITLE: 'On the Pretext of 13 Aban, America Again Bares its Iron
DUBAI 00000481 002.2 OF 004
LEAD SENTENCE: "In a statement on the occasion of the
anniversary of the Occupation of the 'Den of Spies,' the
President of the United States once gain repeated his lying
claims concerning establishing relations with Iran based on
- "with a threatening tone he [President Obama] said, 'Iran must
decide whether to open the way for opportunity and success or
- 'without reference to the crimes of 30 years ago by the White
House leaders against the Iranian nation, which as the Supreme
Leader has said is a thick book'
'Obama made these claims of non-interference in Iran's internal
affairs and preference for establishing respectful relations
with Iran when on the previous day he signed a Pentagon budget
for 55 million dollars for soft war against Iran.'
4. (SBU) ISNA (Semi-Official): Largely objective coverage of the
statement, although most of the story is actually coverage of
Khamenei's November 3 speech on 'US arrogance'
TITLE: Repetition of Obama's "Superficially
Reconciliation-Seeking" Positions On the Anniversary of the
Occupation of the Den of Spies [Note: the quotation "On the
Surface Reconciliatory" is from Khamenei's November 3 speech on
the US]. The story quotes both from the Obama statement and from
Reuters and Associated Press coverage of it.
LEAD SENTENCE: In a statement released late Tuesday the
American President, in a continuation of his policy of
delivering "superficially reconciliation-seeking" speeches
announced that "now is the time for Iran to decide whether it
wishes to focus on its past or whether to open the door towards
"Obama without reference to the history of hostile US actions
towards Iran and the main reason for the occupation of the den
of spies by the 'Students Following the Imam's Line,' claimed
that " This event helped set the United States and Iran on a
path of sustained suspicion, mistrust, and confrontation"
"This Obama statement was put forward at a time when Supreme
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday
with reference to the need for insight in recognizing
'arrogance' called America the real arrogant power in the world,
saying " as long as the American government doesn't refrain from
its threats and arrogant spirit, the Iranian nation will not be
fooled by the superficially reconciliation-seeking statement of
5. (SBU) FARDA NEWS (Pragmatic Conservative Website, Associated
with Tehran Mayor Qalibaf): Relatively factual, this article
quotes from the Obama statement while noting the current state
of US-Iran relations relative to the nuclear issue and the
current IAEA proposal. It also has a passing reference to
Khamenei's November 3 statement about Iran not being fooled by
the US's "superficially reconciliation-seeking" statements.
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TITLE: In a Statement on The Occasion of the 13th of Aban
Obama's Invitation to Iran to Renew Relations
SUBTITLE: Obama, on the threshold of the 30th anniversary of the
Occupation of the Den of Spies, invites Iran for an
understanding on the nuclear program and said that to arrive at
this understanding Iran needs to put its past aside and choose a
new relationship with Iran.
6. (SBU) Press TV (Official, English language - not much
TITLE: A Year Later, Obama's Iran Policy Unchanged
SUMMARY: The article says that President Obama won office with
promises of 'change,' his New Year's speech to Iran opened the
door to the possibility of relations based on respect, "however,
he flaked out on the grounds of honesty and mutual respect. The
ongoing nuclear issue frenzy and the recent uranium proposal,
which has yet to bear fruit, are the perfect examples for this."
The article quotes Obama's November 3 statement, but added
that, "If the president, whose popularity is rapidly declining
in the US, is really sincere, then there are huge
misunderstandings, which need to be addressed. This would also
help change the Iranian perspective on his 'acts of deception'.
The article then recounts examples of US interference in
contemporary Iran's affairs.
"..President Obama on Friday signed a $680 billion defense
authorization bill into law. The military budget included a
bill, allocating up to $50 million for the expansion of
Persian-language broadcasting in Iran by Radio Free Europe /
Radio Liberty's Radio Farda and the Voice of America's Persian
News Network .. the networks are accused of interference in
Iran's internal affairs by spreading propaganda against the
"This is while in his message, President Obama said, 'We do not
interfere in Iran's internal affairs.' "
"What needs to change is the assumption that US actions against
Iran are overlooked by the Iranians .. President Obama in his
message said it was time for Iran to live up to 'the obligations
that every nation has.' But maybe, it is time for the White
House to fully exercise the real meaning of 'change' if it seeks
a prosperous and productive partner in Iran."
7. (SBU) AFTAB-E YAZD NEWSPAPER, (November 5, Page 11):
Relatively factual coverage, with extensive quotes from the
TITLE: Obama Statement on the 30th Anniversary of the Takeover
of the American Embassy, "I Want to Establish Relations With
Iran Based on Mutual Respect" [NOTE: interesting that the
heading refers to 'takeover of the US Embassy,' not 'takeover of
the US Den of Spies.']
LEAD SENTENCE: US President Barak Obama says that the US wants
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to establish relations with Iran based on bilateral interests
and mutual respect.
SUMMARY: After covering the Obama November 3 statement in the
first third of the article, the second third of the article,
titled "America and Europe Want Iran to Act According to Its
Commitments," covers Obama's meeting with EU leaders and his
subsequent Iran statement to the effect that the US and the EU
wants Iran to participate in the international community, to act
in accordance with international law and to fulfill its
International commitments. The third and last section of the
article covers German Chancellor Merkel's "anti-Iran" positions
when appearing at the US Congress.