Mar 21 2014

Washington Post Gets Iran Nukes Wrong–Again

Paper claims a 'march towards weapons'

Hillary Clinton (cc photo: Veni Markovski)

Hillary Clinton (cc photo: Veni Markovski)

In a March 20 article about a Hillary Clinton speech, the Washington Post reported that Iran is marching towards nuclear weapons–repeating an error the Post has had to correct at least two times already.

Philip Rucker’s piece began with this:

Hillary Rodham Clinton cast doubt on the interim nuclear agreement with Iran, saying in a muscular policy speech here Wednesday night that she is “personally skeptical” that Iran’s leaders will follow through on a comprehensive agreement to end their march toward nuclear weapons.

Whether or not the Post meant to attribute that claim to Clinton, it is false. Iran’s nuclear program is the subject of significant controversy and intensive inspections; but there has not been any finding to confirm the claims that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

The Post should know this, since it’s made the same mistake before. As the group Just Foreign Policy has documented, in 2011 the Post ran a photo slideshow that included the headline, “Iran’s quest to possess nuclear weapons.” The paper’s ombud wrote a column (12/9/11) siding with the Post‘s critics, noting:

In a Web-driven world, one bad headline can circle the globe in minutes and undermine the Post’s credibility. It can also play into the hands of those who are seeking further confrontation with Iran.

But a few weeks later, the Post was back at it (1/19/12), referring matter of factly to “Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon.” The paper changed the text of the article, but the never issued a formal correction (Just Foreign Policy, 1/20/12).

Tell the Washington Post to correct its erroneous March 20 story claiming that Iran is on a “march toward nuclear weapons.”

Washington Post
Reader Representative
Alison Coglianese