Iranian State TV or CBS? Trump ‘Dashes Hopes’ of Moderates, Pleases ‘Hardliners’

CBS This Morning on Monday sounded like Iran’s state television, mocking that Donald Trump “is doing the bidding of American arms manufacturers.”  According to network journalists, Trump also “dashed” the hopes of moderates in the country and stealthily pleased “hardliners” with his Middle East speech. Using the repressive country’s talking points, Elizabeth Palmer sneered, “Iranians are waking up this morning to find themselves squarely back in the firing line of the White House. The view from here is that Donald Trump came to Saudi Arabia mainly as a sales rep for American arms manufacturers.” 

Palmer did not offer any negative critiques of Barack Obama’s Iran deal and its impact on the current Middle East situation. Instead, she highlighted the reelection of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and blamed the current president for any future problems: “Over the weekend jubilant young supporters celebrated in the streets, looking forward to fresh cooperation and expanded business ties with the west and the U.S. But one short paragraph in President Trump's speech dashed their hopes.” 

This was the offending sentence in Trump’s speech: “Iran funds arms and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.” Palmer again blamed Trump, not Obama, for stirring up problems: 

There's one faction inside Iran's complex power structure that may be celebrating today, the hardliners and the military, including Iran's revolutionary guard. Closer ties with the west challenge their influence and  control. Whereas an America it's not only allied with their Arab enemies, but is arming them too, fits perfectly with their narrative, that Iran has to be aggressive to defend itself. 

This is the same journalist who, in 2015, lamely spun that Iran’s chants of “death to America” were “more habit than conviction.” 

One of two mentions of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal came in the previous segment when Charlie Rose said of Trump’s speech: “There’s nothing [Trump] could have said to them that would have pleased [the Saudis] more than trying to isolate Iran because it was a direct contradiction of what Barack Obama had been trying to do.” 

Back in 2015, CBS praised Obama’s nuclear deal. On July 14, 2015, Charlie Rose hyped, “The President announced a historic agreement and saying that it's much better than the alternative.”

Rose repeated White House talking points: “But as the President said this is not about faith this is about verification and verification measures will prevent that and if, in fact, they do not work and if, in fact, Iran does not live up to the agreement, he is prepared to take action.” 

On July 24, CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell pestered Marco Rubio, lecturing him on how great the deal was: “Senator, the deal now has the unanimous support of the UN Security Council. You heard the Saudi foreign minister as well say that they support this deal.” 

A transcript of the segment is below: 

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CBS This Morning
5/22/17
7:10AM ET 

NORAH O’DONNELL: The Iranian government is not happy to be singled out by the U.S. It accuses the U.S. Of Iranaphobia and selling weapons to, quote, “dangerous terrorists.” Elizabeth Palmer is in the Iranian capital of Tehran where the new Iranian rhetoric is bringing back old memories. Elizabeth, good morning.  

ELIZABETH PALMER: Good morning. Iranians are waking up this morning to find themselves squarely back in the firing line of the White House. The view from here is that Donald Trump came to Saudi Arabia mainly as a sales rep for American arms manufacturers. One headline, referring to this moment in the visit, said for “$100 billion, Trump dances to the Saudi tune.” On Friday, Iranians re-elected reformist Hassan Rouhani over his hard-line opponent. And over the weekend jubilant young supporters celebrated in the streets, looking forward to fresh cooperation and expanded business ties with the west and the U.S. But one short paragraph in President Trump's speech dashed their hopes. 

DONALD TRUMP: Iran funds arms and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. 

PALMER: He went on to say, “Iran should be isolated.” In response, Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, who worked with American negotiators to sign the nuclear deal, recalled the Saudi role in 9/11.  And then tweeted, “Iran, fresh from real elections attacked by that President in that bastion of moderation,” a mockery reference to Saudis’ absolute monarchy. There is one faction inside Iran’s complex power structure that may be celebrating today, the hardliners and the military, including Iran's revolutionary guard. Closer ties with the west challenge their influence and  control. Whereas an America not only allied with their Arab enemies, but is arming them too, fits perfectly with their narrative, that Iran has to be aggressive to defend itself. President Trump joined the war of words that rages constantly in this region, but Iranians are now waiting to see whether he actually backed it up with the muscle of new anti-Iranian policy. Charlie?      

Charlie Rose: There’s nothing he could have said to them that would have pleased them more than trying to isolate Iran because it was a direct contradiction of what Barack Obama had been trying to do. 

NB Daily Iran Middle East CBS CBS This Morning Video Elizabeth Palmer Donald Trump
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