ABC, NBC Omit Fate of U.S. Prisoners During Promotion of Nuclear Deal

On Wednesday, the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks continued to cheer the “historic” Iranian nuclear agreement during their Wednesday morning broadcasts, but ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the four Americans who continue to be held in Iranian prisons. 

In a 28-second news brief, CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose stressed how “[t]he nuclear deal does not address the fate of four American prisoners in Iran."

 

The CBS host continued to explain that the release of four U.S. prisoners was not included in the nuclear talks: 

Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian are being held on charges related to state security. The fourth, former FBI agent Robert Levinson, has been missing since 2007. Families and friends of the four men are pleading for their freedom. The Obama administration says it is negotiating their release but the issue is kept separate from nuclear talks.

On Tuesday’s Special Report, host Bret Baier spoke with Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, who seemed perplexed that their release was not included in the negotiations, yet America was willing to lift an arms embargo against Iran:  

[I]f the Iranians can throw in the lifting of the arms embargo at the end, which I don't see as part of the agreement, then it would have been ok to raise the hostage issue. Now, I've been told various times that on the sidelines of these negotiations, the hostage issue has been raised, but I don't know how vigorously that was done and why we don't have any of them back at home in our possession.

Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer expressed similar sentiments, but CBS failed to mention that the U.S. gave into Iran’s demands regarding the arms embargo: 

But even worse is the final capitulation, which was the giving in to a lifting of the embargo on ballistic missiles and conventional arms. We just heard Kerry say, why didn't you negotiate for U.S. hostages? Because it's not a nuclear thing. Well, conventional is the opposite of nuclear. That was not to be discussed at all. It was thrown in by the Iranians and the Russians at the last moment, and we caved on that.

See relevant transcript below.

CBS This Morning 

July 15, 2015

CHARLIE ROSE: The nuclear deal does not address the fate of four American prisoners in Iran. Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian are being held on charges related to state security. The fourth, former FBI agent Robert Levinson, has been missing since 2007. Families and friends of the four men are pleading for their freedom. The Obama administration says it is negotiating their release but the issue is kept separate from nuclear talks. 

 

NB Daily Foreign Policy Iran ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Charlie Rose

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