CBS Paints Iran as Victim of ‘Bullying and Belligerent United States’

Reporting from Tehran for Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer bemoaned how new economic sanctions “have begun to bite” in Iran in the wake of the Trump administration withdrawing from the nuclear deal. She noted the “somber” mood in the authoritarian nation, noting that Iranians blamed the “bullying and belligerent United States.”

“President Trump has pledged to do whatever it takes to pressure Iran to halt what he calls ‘malign conduct,’” announced co-host Gayle King as she introduced the segment. Turning to Palmer, the anchor sympathized that “Iranians are struggling with a weak economy.”

 

 

Palmer lamented: “Today is a religious occasion in Iran, it’s a day of mourning in the Shiite religion. And it reflects the mood of the country in general, that is somber.” She added: “Ever since the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal in May, sanctions have begun to bite here.”

The reporter fretted over the economic impact of the renewed sanctions:

President Trump says he has no quarrel with the Iranian people, but they are the ones who are already suffering. Their currency has plummeted and foreign companies and investment is leaving the country at the expense of thousands of jobs. And the worst is yet to come. The most punishing round of sanctions sets out to cut Iran off from most international banking and crucially stop it selling its lifeblood, oil.

After describing how some “are so despairing they’re planning on leaving the country altogether,” Palmer concluded the report by declaring: “But the millions who are staying behind are frustrated and angry, of course with their own government for its inefficiency and corruption, but also with what they see as a bullying and belligerent United States.”

Palmer has made a habit out of portraying Iran as a victim of American foreign policy. In May, the foreign correspondent complained the Iranians felt like “hostages” of a “hostile White House.” In June of 2015, as the Obama administration was working to lift sanctions on the terrorist-sponsoring regime, Palmer hoped that the “painful” measures would soon end. In April of that year, she tried to downplay anti-American sentiment in Iran by claiming chants of “death to America” were “more habit than conviction.”

Amazingly, none of the reasons for the sanctions, namely Iran’s actual “bullying and belligerent” behavior, were mentioned in the report. The worst enemy of the Iranian people is the Iranian government, any responsible journalist would make that clear.

Here is a full transcript of the October 30 segment:

7:17 AM ET

GAYLE KING: President Trump has pledged to do whatever it takes to pressure Iran to halt what he calls “malign conduct.” Punishing new sanctions aimed at quashing the Islamic Republicans – Republic’s, rather – nuclear ambitions as well as its missile programs and influence in the Middle East go into effect next week.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: More Iran Sanctions?; President Trump Pledges to Halt “Malign Conduct”]

Elizabeth Palmer is reporting from Iran’s capital of Tehran where Iranians are struggling with a weak economy.

ELIZABETH PALMER: Good morning. Today is a religious occasion in Iran, it’s a day of mourning in the Shiite religion. And it reflects the mood of the country in general, that is somber. Ever since the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal in May, sanctions have begun to bite here.

President Trump says he has no quarrel with the Iranian people, but they are the ones who are already suffering. Their currency has plummeted and foreign companies and investment is leaving the country at the expense of thousands of jobs. And the worst is yet to come. The most punishing round of sanctions sets out to cut Iran off from most international banking and crucially stop it selling its lifeblood, oil.

We’ve spoken to people here who are so despairing they’re planning on leaving the country altogether. But the millions who are staying behind are frustrated and angry, of course with their own government for its inefficiency and corruption, but also with what they see as a bullying and belligerent United States.

For CBS This Morning, I’m Elizabeth Palmer in Tehran.

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