Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Javad Zarif seemed to take the advice from Howard Dean: Whenever someone challenges you, blame the "Fox News propaganda machine." On Wednesday night, Zarif spoke at a forum at Columbia University. Several students challenged him on issues from support of Hezbollah, nuclear ambitions, suppressing dissent, and denial of the Holocaust. The frustrated Zarif retorted, "my friend don’t consume whatever is fed by Fox News." The crowd reacted with laughter and some scattered applause.
This was not the first time the Iranian government, like the Democrats, blasted Fox News. Back in March, Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Sotanieh attacked Fox News. A left wing blogger chose to side with the Ayatollahs. I thought liberals hate theocracy. I guess I was wrong. The entire transcript is below.
Gregg Jarrett: "Iran's ambassador to the United Nations has a testy exchange, to say the least, with students at Columbia University last night. Well first, Javad Zarif had a few choice comments about the Fox News Channel and then he upset several audience members when they questioned him about the Holocaust. Eric Shawn joins us here in the studio with more on that, Eric."
Eric Shawn: "Yeah Gregg, the Iranian ambassador was challenged. Students at Columbia University last night wasted no time in attacking Iranian policies, and Iran’s U.N. ambassador fired back, denouncing America and western issues and he even slammed Fox News. Ambassador Javad Zarif, he’s known as an eloquent, smooth, and elegant diplomat at the United Nations. But at his, at his speech some of the college students were having none of it. He spoke before a student organization called Toward Reconciliation which focuses on international affairs. The students peppered the ambassador with questions about Iran's support of the terrorist group Hezbollah, his continued nuclear defiance at the Security Council, and whether he thinks six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. He said it was a great atrocity but would not agree with the specific number. His boss, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has of course denied the Holocaust even happened and says Israel should be wiped off the map. As for Iran’s financial and political support of Hezbollah, one student repeatedly challenged his portrayal of it being a legitimate democratic movement, which prompted him to blast Fox News."
Javad Zarif: "Being pro-western is not a great asset in our part of the world. I know that, you know that the west, the west is not the most loved entity in our part of the world, not because of any hatred towards the west but because of the policies that have represented the west, particularly the policies that the west has, has implemented in, in the middle east. So pro-western nature of the government of Lebanon may be very good for you in the U.S., but it’s very bad for the Lebanese people. Nobody in Lebanon wants to have a religious government. Michel Aoun, a Christian, wants a religious Islamic government in Lebanon? Are you joking? Let's be serious. I mean, come on, don’t consume everything that -- my friend, don’t consume -- my friend, don’t consume what ever is fed by Fox News. Hezbollah-"
Zarif: "Hezbollah is the most popular movement not only in Lebanon, but in the Arab world."
Shawn: "The ambassador has repeatedly avoided interviews here on Fox News. He’s told me he would only go on live. And I have offered that option to him several times but so far it hasn’t happen. He has though has had lunch with me, but so far, Gregg, no TV."
Jarrett: "And I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one. Eric Shawn thanks- your, your reputation precedes you."
Shawn: "Maybe that’s what it is."
Jarrett: "They duck in the hallway when they see you coming at the U.N. Alright Eric Shawn thanks very much."