The Associated Press, the international news agency that in 2018 infamously claimed that “Iran has never threatened to attack Israel,” leveraged Iran’s unveiling this week of a new attack drone to again whitewash the belligerent regime, which routinely calls for genocide of Israelis.
About the unveiling of the drone, Reuters rightly reported: “A video released on Tuesday by Iranian media displayed the drone among other military hardware, with text saying ‘prepare your shelters’ in both Hebrew and Persian.”
On its website, Haaretz expanded on that threat: “Published on Iran’s military industry day, the video’s text reflects simmering tensions between arch foes Iran and Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying on Monday that Tehran has funded and encouraged a series of recent deadly attacks against Israelis.”
Titled “‘Prepare the Shelters’: With Hebrew Threat, Iran Unveils Armed Drone Which Can Hit Israel,” Haaretz‘s article is attributed to both AP and Reuters, with the information on Iran’s threat to attack Israeli communities clearly originating with the latter.
AP’s article, “Iran unveils armed drone resembling America’s MQ-9 Reaper and says it could potentially reach Israel,” contains not one word about the “prepare your shelters” and “fire is on the way” threats—hardly expressions of friendly relations.
Instead, AP’s Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell report:
“‘Today we can firmly introduce Iran as an advanced and technologic nation to the world,’ [President Ebrahim] Raisi said in comments aired on state television.
“He reiterated Iran’s stance about friendly relations with ‘all countries in the world,’ adding that Iran’s armed forces will cut off any hand that will reaches [sic] out in an attempt to invade Iran, state TV reported.”
And just like that, the “prepare your shelters” threat is wiped from the record, a total erasure mirroring that of Iranian fantasies and threats about wiping Israel off the “global political map.” Notably, not only does AP not report the “prepare your shelters” threat, but also takes Iran’s statement about its friendly relations “with all countries in the world” at face value. While the reporters do note Raisi’s statement that his country’s military “will cut off any hand that will reach out in an attempt to invade Iran,” that comment suggests defensive posturing, as opposed to the offensive threats of mass annihilation that have characterized official Iranian rhetoric.
Incidentally, here is the same Raisi embracing the country’s stance on friendly relations with Israel this past April (translation by MEMRI):
“The enemies of the Islamic Revolution should know—and the Zionist regime in particular has surely received this message—that the slightest action against the Islamic Republic of Iran will evoke a severe response from Iran’s armed forces.
“They should know for certain that the smallest mistake against the security of Iran will result in the destruction of Tel Aviv and Haifa.”
AP’s Karimi reported on Raisi’s comments at the time (“Iran renews threats against Israel during Army Day parade”).
And yet AP now fails to address Iran’s repeated threats to wipe Israel off the map, including this week’s “prepare your shelters” warning, instead informing readers about “Iran’s stance about friendly relations with ‘all countries in the world.’”
Originally published by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis.