|Inayat: There's a Telegraph Man Secretly Pushing For War Again|
|Thursday, 17 July 2008|
As speculation mounts as to whether the Israelis will be given the green light to bomb Iran later this year, so too do the number of articles warning of how the cunning Iranians are just playing for time and are running rings round the clueless European powers.
Now I have no idea whether the Iranians are being entirely candid when they say their nuclear programme is for civilian purposes only or whether they in fact intend to follow in the footsteps of the Israelis who are the possessors of the only actual nuclear weapons in the Middle East. I would have thought it would be in everyone's interest for the whole of the Middle East (and indeed, the whole world) to be a nuclear weapon-free zone. The one thing I do know, however, is that over the years a number of our UK-based newspapers have been more than willing to play up the threat of alleged Iranian weapons while downplaying the danger of the very real Israeli ones.
One journalist who writes regularly on the theme of Iran's presumed quest for nuclear weapons is Con Coughlin, a senior executive in the Telegraph group. Just last week he wrote a piece for the Daily Telegraph headlined Iran has resumed A-bomb project, says west.
A look at the sources he listed in his story and many of his other similar stories about Iran only turned up assorted unnamed "officials" and western "defence experts".
In September 2003, in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion and just a few months after Bush's "mission accomplished", speech, a news story by the very same Con Coughlin was telling us:
Iran is not only working hard to develop an atom bomb, but, left to its own devices, could achieve its stated goal of acquiring a nuclear arsenal within two years.
Get that? "Within two years". And acquiring nuclear weapons was a "stated goal" of the Iranians. That was in 2003. Again, the sources were listed as "weapons experts" and once again they were unnamed.
Just over a year later, another alarming story from Coughlin was headlined Five N-bombs within Iran's grasp as West prevaricates.
How long "within grasp" actually meant in real terms was this time left unsaid, but presumably it must have been very, very close indeed if Coughlin's previous story from 2003 was correct. The implication was clearly that the west should stop pussyfooting around and … well, I think you can work the rest out yourselves.
In January 2006, Coughlin informed us of a revised timescale. Now we were told that Iran "Could go nuclear within three years". This is what his sources had to say:
Intelligence sources say Iran will begin feeding converted uranium into 164 centrifuges at Natanz this week. That could enable it to create enriched uranium of sufficient quality for nuclear weapons production within three years. Previous estimates of the minimum time required had ranged from five to 10 years.
The "intelligence sources" must obviously have overlooked reading Coughlin's own news reports.
And in January 2007, Coughlin reported about growing cooperation between Iran and North Korea in the field of nuclear weaponry and he kindly provided us with yet another frightening timescale:
Intelligence estimates vary about how long it could take Teheran to produce a nuclear warhead. But defence officials monitoring the growing cooperation between North Korea and Iran believe the Iranians could be in a position to test-fire a low-grade device — less than half a kiloton — within 12 months.
Within 12 months. And that particular story was written 18 months ago. You do the maths.
I recall that Con Coughlin been writing these kinds of stories about Iran since at least the early 1990s – but I couldn't find the earlier stories archived on the Telegraph's website.
Just who are his sources and how credible are they? As ordinary readers of a newspaper we normally have no real way of knowing. But Nick Davies' excellent book, Flat Earth News, contains a revealing passage about Coughlin and the close ties he has cultivated over the years with MI6.
Back in 2002, the Sunday Telegraph settled an action brought by Saif al-Islam Gadafy, the son of the Libyan leader, over a 1995 story in which they had accused him of being involved in a huge Middle Eastern currency sting. The Sunday Telegraph admitted that allegations they had printed about Saif al-Islam were untrue. The author of that original article was – you guessed – none other than Con Coughlin, and we are told in Flat Earth News that Coughlin had in fact obtained his story from sources in MI6.
So how can we go about holding our own spooks to account for their mischief-making? Remember the depressing example of Sir John Scarlett, who for his sins in the notorious sexed-up Iraq dossier affair was punished by being… er… promoted to become head of MI6.
Well, that'll teach them, eh?
Source: Comment is free
Readers have left 7 comments.
Would you give a dime for a story that is true?
Would you give a dime for a story that's false?
The yes goes to the latter.........
Yet I see Muslim news agents and Muslim readers helping these liars by spending a dime
Ibrahim M Sidat
(1) 2008-07-18 01:38:33
Biblical Christianity will spread even faster if Iran decides to be stupid.An it is not in the intrest of Islam too see Biblical Christianity rise further.
(2) 2008-07-18 04:28:41
It's quite simple - make campaign contributions to Presidential campaigns, control businesses, and the media in the US and you can get any country bombed in the world.
Or be allowed to bomb it yourself, whilst still having nuclear bombs yourself.
(3) 2008-07-18 06:59:18
Biblical Christianity will spread even faster if Iran decides to be stupid.An it is not in the intrest of Islam too see Biblical Christianity rise further.— Clifford Ishii
Mr Clifford Ishii
Sorry to burst your “bubble” – but I do believe all thanks to the contact medieval Europeans had with Muslims from Spain and elsewhere that lead to the European renaissance, developments in science, technology and the thirst for knowledge and learning - that most Europeans and indeed most people in the West are fortunate today to possess basic mathematic skills that they take for granted – this is why your Churches are empty today.
Gone are the days of Medieval Europe – people now know that:
1 + 1 + 1 does not = 1
(4) 2008-07-18 18:24:29
The Telegraph staff are Islamophobic scum. They are also Zionists (surprise). That make them ZioNazi scum.
(5) 2008-07-18 19:18:06
Its out fault for letting News International and its friends get away with it. We should build a working party that is setup with a mission to reduce Telegraph's circulation. Its objectives should be to stop the papers distribution, its sales through retail outlets. A campaign should be held for advertisers to move away from the news papers. Furthermore we should also look at headhunters taking their top jounalists, administrators, HR, IT personnel out of Telegraph. This should cause enough pain for telegraph. Just imagine having to constantly watch the rear guard.
(6) 2008-07-20 23:22:26
they push war against iran in order to completely control petrol. Also a water fuel cell inventor died in dubious circumstances back in 1998. his name called stan meyers, but today more and more people use the very essence of his invention to diy their cars into a water burning hydrogen car. see www.runyourcarwithwater.co.uk
(7) 2008-07-24 17:01:23