I recommend that you take a half-hour to listen to this BBC Radio 4 report about Iranian “soft power” in the UK and focusing mostly on the the Iranian regime-controlled English-language broadcaster Press TV.
Much of the report will be neither new nor surprising to regular Harry’s Place readers. Press TV employees George Galloway and Yvonne Ridley refused to be interviewed. Abbas Edelat of the Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), a featured speaker at a recent Stop the War Coalition meeting, revealed his true colors when he said that it’s OK for Iran to jam BBC Persian while the UK allows free access to Press TV. Somewhat surprisingly Farouk Bajwah, a solicitor for Press TV, sort of admitted that it was wrong for the station to show a coerced confession from imprisoned journalist Maziar Bahari, but excused it on the grounds that others have done worse.
But most interesting of all was a defense of Press TV by one Lord Lamont.
Yes, that Lord Lamont. Baron Lamont of Lerwick. Former Conservative MP. Chief Secretary to the Treasury for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Chancellor of the Exchequer for Prime Minister John Major. Defender of General Pinochet. Chairman of the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce in the UK and, BBC Radio 4 reported, “director of a company with business interests in Iran.”
With sublime understatement, Lord Lamont conceded, “I think [Press TV] isn’t entirely impartial.”
Gee, Your Lordship. Ya think?
On the other hand Lord Lamont noted that Press TV showed a clip of Newt Gingrich in a presidential debate calling for covert action against the Iranian regime and said that he never saw this reported elsewhere in Western media. Obviously he missed the reports from the BBC, The Washington Post and other obscure Western sources.
So can we add Lord Lamont to the list of craven Western apologists for the murderous regime of the Islamic Republic?
(Hat tip: amie)