CBS & NBC Play Footsie With Iran, Tout Terrorist Regime Sliming U.S.

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Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today show on Friday boasted of exclusive interviews with top Iranian officials eager to attack the United States and condemn international sanctions against the terrorism-sponsoring regime. Rather than show their journalists pressing Iran’s leaders on the authoritarian nation’s criminal behavior, the network reports instead offered pure propaganda.

“Iran is still holding on to a British oil tanker and is apparently trying to get around U.S. sanctions. Now, in his first-ever interview with an American TV network, a top member of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard bluntly criticized U.S. actions,” CBS foreign correspondent Imtiaz Tyab proclaimed on This Morning. The reporter touted: “Hossein Dehghan says the U.S. is behaving like pirates and called President Trump a gangster.”

 

 

In addition to promoting rhetoric from one of the top members of Iran’s own terrorist organization, Tyab took a dramatic turn and blamed U.S. sanctions for Iranian children dying of cancer:

But there’s another sanctions battle being fought in Iran, this time at a children’s hospital, where it’s every parents’ worst nightmare, learning your child’s cancer has come back. Adding to the agony, the cocktail of drugs four-year-old Mathi needs to stay alive simply isn’t available....Iran produces most of its own pharmaceuticals. But when it comes to the most advanced medicines, it relies heavily on imports. And that’s how sanctions can have an effect. Technically, medicines are exempt from U.S. sanctions, but the financial transactions to purchase them on the global marketplace are not. Imports have dropped by 80%.

Tyab asked Dr. Shabnam Hemmati of Mahek Children’s Hospital, “Are people losing their lives because they can’t get this drugs?” The doctor replied: “Yes.” Tyab concluded: “Doctors don’t know how many children have died because of this inability to bring in medicine. But as the CEO of the charity told us, with 80% fewer drugs coming in, you only have to do the math.”

On NBC’s Today, while previewing a special edition of Nightly News from the Iranian capital of Tehran, anchor Lester Holt showed a portion of his exclusive interview with Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Zarif. Holt wondered if Iran was willing to go to war to end the U.S. “stranglehold” on the country: “You don’t think Iran would act militarily to end this stranglehold?” Zarif sneered: “We will not. We have never done that in the past 250 years. We have defended ourselves, and we have taught good lessons to the who invaded us.”

Holt then fretted that the U.S. would be the aggressor: “Do you think the military option is on the plate for the Trump administration, if maximum pressure doesn’t work?” That allowed Zarif to claim:

This has been a policy tenet for U.S. governments to say no option is off the table. But I think that is not based on what we have all agreed in the United Nations charter, that the use of force is illegal. Threat of use of force is Illegal.  

The liberal media hate for the Trump administration has reached such a level that reporters now turn to America’s enemies to condemn the President.

Here is a full transcript of the August 19 report on CBS This Morning:

7:15 AM ET

ANTHONY MASON: Iran is warning the U.S. not to retake a seized supertanker released overnight. Gibraltar rejected an American appeal to detain the Iranian vessel longer. It is allegedly carrying sanctioned crude oil and heading towards Greece. Imtiaz Tyab is in Tehran with a look at the impact of international sanctions on Iran. Imtiaz, good morning.

IMTIAZ TYAB: Good morning. Iran is still holding on to a British oil tanker and is apparently trying to get around U.S. sanctions. Now, in his first-ever interview with an American TV network, a top member of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard bluntly criticized U.S. actions.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Iran Seized Tanker Drama; Revolutionary Guard Commander Calls President Trump A Gangster]

Hossein Dehghan says the U.S. is behaving like pirates and called President Trump a gangster. Tough talk from Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard.

But there’s another sanctions battle being fought in Iran, this time at a children’s hospital, where it’s every parents’ worst nightmare, learning your child’s cancer has come back. Adding to the agony, the cocktail of drugs four-year-old Mathi needs to stay alive simply isn’t available. His mom tells me Mathi is her only child. The most doctors can do for him now is keep him comfortable.

Iran produces most of its own pharmaceuticals. But when it comes to the most advanced medicines, it relies heavily on imports. And that’s how sanctions can have an effect. Technically, medicines are exempt from U.S. sanctions, but the financial transactions to purchase them on the global marketplace are not. Imports have dropped by 80%.

Are people losing their lives because they can’t get this drugs?

DR. SHABNAM HEMMATI [MAHEK CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL PHARMACEUTICAL DEPT. HEAD]: Yes.

TYAB: What do you say to a parent whose child has cancer, that the drug is available outside of Iran, but you can’t bring it into Iran? What do you say to them?

HEMMATI: I just tell them to pray. And be sure that we are with you, we know your pain.

TYAB: Doctors don’t know how many children have died because of this inability to bring in medicine. But as the CEO of the charity told us, with 80% fewer drugs coming in, you only have to do the math. Anthony?

MASON: Imtiaz Tyab in Iran, thanks.

Tomorrow, Gayle talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Iran, China, Hong Kong and other important issues. That’s tomorrow right here on CBS This Morning.

GAYLE KING: A lot to discuss with him.  

Here is a full transcript of the report on NBC’s Today show:

7:09 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: Now to an NBC News exclusive. Amid ongoing tensions between Washington and Tehran, Lester Holt is giving us a rare look inside Iran, and he joins us now from the Iranian capital. Lester, good morning.

LESTER HOLT: Craig, good morning. Those tensions being ratcheted up even as we speak. This morning, Iranian officials issuing a stern warning to the United States not to interfere or try to seize an Iranian oil tanker that’s just been released from Gibralter. It’s sailing right now for Greece, the U.S. tried to stop its release.

Also, officials her are rejecting President Trump’s claim that Iran is ready to open talks. I spoke a short while ago with the speaker of the parliament here, he says no talks and no back-channel talks. Over the weekend, I spoke to Foreign Minister Zarif about the risk of war in the region.

You don’t think Iran would act militarily to end this stranglehold?

MOHAMMAD ZARIF: We will not. We have never done that in the past 250 years. We have defended ourselves, and we have taught good lessons to the who invaded us.

HOLT: Do you think the military option is on the plate for the Trump administration, if maximum pressure doesn’t work?

ZARIF: This has been a policy tenet for U.S. governments to say no option is off the table. But I think that is not based on what we have all agreed in the United Nations charter, that the use of force is illegal. Threat of use of force is Illegal.  

HOLT: I’ve also been speaking with Iranians in their homes and cafes and their places of work, measuring the impact of the sanctions, how they view the situation right now, and their thoughts and fears about open conflict, Craig.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And what do you find there? I mean, obviously the U.S. policy is of maxim pressure. Are Iranians feeling that pressure? Who’s it hitting?

HOLT: They are. Yeah, officials firmly acknowledge that this is causing some pain. You look at the skyline behind me, you’ll see a lot of skeletons of buildings they could never afford to finish. But they are finding products that find their way into this country, things like computers that shouldn’t be sold here or are coming in through a grey market, third-party countries. So officials here think they will survive this.

MELVIN: Lester Holt for us there in Tehran, this morning. Lester, thank you. And you can of course see more of his exclusive reports from Iran tonight on a special edition of NBC Nightly News 6:30 Eastern/5:30 Central.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Iran CBS CBS This Morning NBC NBC Nightly News Today Video Lester Holt

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