ABC Touts Iran Accusing U.S. of ‘Economic Terrorism’

On Monday, ABC’s Good Morning America aired an exclusive interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and provided the authoritarian regime’s propagandist with a platform to accuse the United States of conducting “economic terrorism” against his country in the form of financial sanctions.

“Our chief global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz has traveled to Iran for an exclusive interview with the Foreign Minister, who had tough words for President Trump,” co-host George Stephanopoulos announced at the top of the segment. Reporting from Tehran, Raddatz declared: “Tough talk is right. The Foreign Minister saying Donald Trump’s maximum pressure efforts are creating economic terrorism.”

 

 

The report began with Raddatz painting Iran as the victim of U.S. actions: “From the skyrocketing price of food at Tehran’s markets, to the hospitals where medicine, while not targeted, still becoming scarce....Iran’s foreign minister telling me this must stop.” A soundbite followed of Zarif ranting: “If the United States decides to cause so much pain on the Iranian people by imposing economic warfare, by engaging in economic terrorism against Iran, then there will be consequences.”

Raddatz only briefly noted Iran’s bad actions in the Middle East, in the context of Zarif denying them: “Zarif denies accusations it sabotaged four oil tankers near the Persian Gulf or is threatening U.S. forces.”

The Iranian official even suggested any U.S. intelligence proving Iranian wrongdoing may be fabricated:

RADDATZ: If they show some sort of intelligence about the sabotage of those tankers –  

ZARIF: Let them do it.

RADDATZ: Would you not believe it?

ZARIF: Let them do it. I mean, photoshop is always a possibility.

Rather than dispute Zarif’s conspiracy theory, Raddatz wrapped up the report: “The Foreign Minister will not say what those consequences could be. He says he wants to keep Donald Trump guessing, George.”

ABC joins CBS and NBC in sympathizing with Iran and portraying the U.S. as the perpetrator of rising tensions. On CBS This Morning back in October, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer lamented the sanctions against Iran and described Iranian citizens blaming “what they see as a bullying and belligerent United States.” Just last month, NBC Nightly News worried that Trump was trying to “provoke” a war with Iran on Israel’s behalf, during another sit-down with Foreign Minister Zarif.

The media dislike of the Trump administration is so intense the reporters are willing to take the word of a brutal dictatorship over the United States government.

Here is a full transcript of the June 3 report from Raddatz:

7:08 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re going to go overseas now to rising tension with Iran as the U.S. ratchets up economic sanctions and ramps up military readiness. Our chief global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz has traveled to Iran for an exclusive interview with the Foreign Minister, who had tough words for President Trump. Martha joins us now from Tehran. Good morning, Martha.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Good morning, George. Tough talk is right. The Foreign Minister saying Donald Trump’s maximum pressure efforts are creating economic terrorism.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Iran’s Foreign Minister Responds to Trump Sanctions; “There Will Be Consequences”]

From the skyrocketing price of food at Tehran’s markets...  

IDENTIFIED WOMAN [TEHRAN MARKEY CUSTOMER]: Very bad. Very bad.

RADDATZ: ...to the hospitals where medicine, while not targeted, still becoming scarce.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [PHARMACIST]: The consequences of this is on the patient.

RADDATZ: Iran’s foreign minister telling me this must stop.

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF [IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER]: If the United States decides to cause so much pain on the Iranian people by imposing economic warfare, by engaging in economic terrorism against Iran, then there will be consequences.

RADDATZ: Zarif denies accusations it sabotaged four oil tankers near the Persian Gulf or is threatening U.S. forces. If they show some sort of intelligence about the sabotage of those tankers –

ZARIF: Let them do it.

RADDATZ: Would you not believe it?

ZARIF: Let them do it. I mean, photoshop is always a possibility.

RADDATZ: The foreign minister will not say what those consequences could be. He says he wants to keep Donald Trump guessing, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have that going on, on both sides. Martha Raddatz, thanks very much.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Iran ABC Good Morning America Video Martha Raddatz

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