Monday, July 28, 2008

Want another empty interview with a prominent Iranian?

This seems to be the season for worthless interviews with Iranians. In an interview with Morris Motamed, the sole Jewish representative in Iran's parliament, the interviewer, Trish Schuh, fails to elicit any concrete information at all about the treatment of Jews in Iran. No surprises there since it appears at the ultra-leftist Counterpunch site. The following is typical of the interview:
What is most difficult about life in Iran?

There is no difference between the way of life of the minority communities and the main body of the society, which means the Muslims.
The interview veers into the despicable in the following exchange which asks Motamed to comment on a now-debunked canard:
Recently, an Israeli government official has threatened the Palestinians in Gaza with a "Holocaust". Could you comment on the use of this word in this context?

Because of what is going on nowadays in Gaza... where we are witnessing the killing and injuring of innocent people -- old men, children and women -- as a representative of the Jewish community, I'm very sorry. We have set forth our revulsion on this matter, with a declaration. 'Holocaust means 'genocide'. Here’s a person who knows what occurred during the second world war by Holocaust, and who now himself wants to bring up the specter of another Holocaust. This kind of statment is shameful and embarassing.
In one interesting moment, the interviewer evidently seeks confirmation of the Juan Cole interpretation of Ahmadinejad's remark about "wiping Israel off the map":
Please comment on the alleged statement of Iranian President Ahmedinejad's threat to "wipe Israel off the map". What did he actually say in Persian?

One of the basic principles of democracy is freedom of speech, so that a person can freely express his ideas and viewpoints as did Mr. Ahmedinejad. So after his speech we observed that some Iranian political authorities talked in a different manner ad said that Iran doesn't seek the wiping out or destruction of any nation from the page of history or from the map.
Is that Motamed not playing along? In a "footnote" at the end of the article, the interviewer adds a few facts about recent instances of Ahmadinejad's bellicose rhetoric and the destruction of seven synagogues. That's better than nothing although not by much. The interview itself is worse than nothing.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tags: Iran, Jews, Motamed

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