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OVERCAUTIOUS OBJECTIVITY: Losing Perspective by Being Politically Correct

By Kambiz Zarrabi

I have often appreciated Mr. Gharib’s articles and analyses of America’s policies toward Iran in general, even though I do not always agree with all of his views.

In his latest article appearing in site, he offers a careful and concise critique of the Wall Street Journal’s chief foreign affairs reporter, Jay Solomon, addressing the historic P5+1/Iran nuclear agreement and its aftermath. Everything seems fine and eloquently presented, until we get to the mid-section of his article where he expresses his own position that coincides with that of Mr. Solomon:

As Solomon points out ............the Iranian government has used the financial benefits brought by the accord to beef up its military spending, and still involves itself in nefarious ways in the Middle East, continuing its support to unsavory groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis and, especially, its robust assistance to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.”

Well; here we see that Mr. Gharib, in agreement with the Wall Street Journal writer, has bought into the official State Department and the American mainstream media narrative that the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Yemeni Huthis are “unsavory” groups, and that Iran’s support for these groups, and for Syria’s Assad, is “nefarious” behavior!

“Unsavory!” according to whom, Mr. Gharib? Why did he not also bring the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, into that fold? Does he regard these “unsavory” groups as terrorist organizations, in which case he must also believe that Iran is the world’s No.1supporter of international terrorism - the official view of the US State Department. Why not, Mr. Gharib?

Finally, in the last paragraph of his article, Mr. Gharib, again indicates his agreement with Mr. Solomon that the nuclear deal achieved the objective of curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and thus prevented an unavoidable war between Iran and the United States:

“Solomon, to his credit, makes room in his essay for the argument made by supporters of the deal, and not least the Obama administration itself, about the benefits the deal brings to the U.S. itself: constraining Iran’s nuclear program.”


“As Secretary of State John Kerry told Solomon, “I have no doubt that we avoided a war.”

I am not surprised that Mr. Gharib, again, has bought into the prevailing, official narrative for the reasons for entering into those negotiations and the true objectives thereto.  Does he honestly think that the Iranian government was clandestinely seeking the development of nuclear weapons? Does he really believe that a war against Iran was a likely scenario, had the agreement not reached a desirable conclusion? What happened to objective, analytical, thinking?

Jim Lobe and his do bring out a lot of pertinent and well-presented articles that one cannot find in the mainstream media in the United States. But to retain his tenure he has to be careful not to ruffle too many feathers; he has to be cautiously, sometimes overcautiously, objective in his approach.

As for myself, I much prefer Gareth Porter’s more daring and uninhibited approach. Perhaps it is because I don’t have anything to lose!


About the author:

Kambiz Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion.He has conducted lectures and seminars on international affairs, particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues. Zarrabi's latest book is Iran, Back in Context.




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