NBC’s Ann Curry Compares Conservatives in U.S. to Skeptical Iranian Leaders Ahead of Deadline

While reporting on Monday’s NBC Nightly News with the latest from the Iranian side of the international talks in Switzerland over their nuclear program, Ann Curry smeared U.S. conservatives by likening them to radical hardliners in Iran’s Islamic regime.

After a report from chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell on the overall state of the talks as the Tuesday deadline approaches, interim anchor Lester Holt turned to Curry for “the latest on a tough situation facing Iranian negotiators having to convince hardliners in that country to go along with any deal.”

Curry began her brief report by declaring that Monday was “a critical night in these talks” as “the Iranian negotiators say they really need to say yes to a deal” but also, should a deal be forged, be required “to sell it back home.”

It was at that point she launched into the comparison between Republicans and skeptical Iranian leaders: “As in the U.S., Iran has conservatives who don't trust the other side and they are ready to pounce if they believe negotiators give up too much.”

Curry then concluded by touting the Iranian hopes for relief on the sanctions front:

So the biggest price for the Iranians is to be able to announce some relief from crippling sanctions and most importantly, UN sanctions, as they see it some immediate relief from UN sanctions would mean that for the first time in more than 30 years, Iran would no longer be an outlier in the international community[.]

In addition to NBC’s coverage, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley had reports on the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

On CBS, State Department correspondent Margaret Brennan brought up how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains opposed to the talks as the latest “demands” from the Iranian side have “only further antagonized” him while “Republicans have not hid their own disdain for the talks and have threatened to increase sanctions and block any deal with Iran.”

Back on March 16, Brennan was reporting from negotiations in Switzerland for CBS This Morning when she made a similar comparison between conservatives in Congress and Iranian leaders who have been against a nuclear deal as Curry did on Monday.

The relevant portions of the transcript from March 30's NBC Nightly News can be found below.

NBC Nightly News
March 30, 2015
7:12 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Nuclear Deadline]

LESTER HOLT:  Overseas, we’re less than 24 hours now from a major deadline for negotiators to reach an initial agreement on Iran's nuclear program and despite near round-the-clock diplomacy to try and hammer out a deal, there’s word of a possible last-minute stumbling block. Our chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell is at the talks in Switzerland. 

ANDREA MITCHELL: The skies over Lausanne were as ominous as those talks inside, trapped by their own deadline. Six major world powers and Iran in a luxurious 19th century palace. Legend says once inhabited by Lord Byron and Cocoa Chanel. The challenge? To stop Iran from converting its nuclear technology into a nuclear weapon and if Iran cheats, to give the world at least a year’s warning before Iran could build a bomb. One idea: Have Iran send its atomic fuel out of the country, but now at the last minute, Iran has firmly ruled that out.

(....)

MITCHELL Even if they get a deal, Secretary Kerry then has to sell it to a really skeptical Congress. The talks stretched well into the night tonight. They will start again possibly for the last time at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, Lester. 

HOLT: Alright, Andrea Mitchell in Lausanne tonight. Andrea, thanks. Ann Curry is also part of our team there with the latest on a tough situation facing Iranian negotiators having to convince hardliners in that country to go along with any deal. 

ANN CURRY: Lester, good evening. On this critical night in these talks, what the Iranian negotiators say they really need to say yes to a deal, is the ability to sell it back home. As in the U.S., Iran has conservatives who don't trust the other side and they are ready to pounce if they believe negotiators give up too much. So the biggest price for the Iranians is to be able to announce some relief from crippling sanctions and most importantly, UN sanctions, as they see it some immediate relief from UN sanctions would mean that for the first time in more than 30 years, Iran would no longer be an outlier in the international community...

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center