Checking in Wednesday night from Tehran with Iranian reaction to what anchor Brian Williams described as the new intelligence assessment that “Iran is not developing nuclear weapons after all,” NBC correspondent Ali Arouzi held up a newspaper to show how it portrayed President Bush “as Pinocchio.” Arouzi described crowds cheering President Ahmadinejad's railing against lies spread by the U.S. and how the state media are calling President Bush “a liar and a warmonger.” On the upside for Iranians, Arouzi found the “many” who “have long been worried that the United States will attack Iran over its nuclear ambitions” now have “a sense of relief that that won't happen.”
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide a transcript of the brief segment on the Wednesday, December 5 NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now to Iran, where there's been strong reaction to this week's new U.S. intelligence assessment, the one saying Iran is not developing nuclear weapons after all. Our "Reporter's Notebook" tonight on what it's like there comes from our man on the ground in Iran, Ali Arouzi.
ALI AROUZI: Here in Iran, the latest NIE findings have been seen as a vindication of its nuclear program. Today, for the first time, we heard from President Ahmadinejad. In a fiery speech, he described the report as a victory and a final shot to those who have spread lies about Iran's nuclear program. His words were met with cheers from the crowds. The state-sponsored media here didn't waste any time either, attacking President Bush, calling him a liar and a warmonger. One Tehran newspaper even portrayed him as Pinocchio. Many people here have long been worried that the United States will attack Iran over its nuclear ambitions. Tonight, there's a sense of relief that that won't happen. Ali Arouzi, NBC News, Tehran.