New York Times writers skirt balanced reporting on Iranian resumption of uranium enrichment

    Unfortunately, The Times has reverted to its default posture of being used as a foreign policy tool of we don't know whom. Richard Bernstein and Steven R. Weisman (1/13/06 p 1, 8) in their front-page article announcing British, French and German intent to end negotiations with Iran over that country's move to resume uranium enrichment operations. Their headline implies that all of Europe is on board, but in actuality, only the three nations appear to have made statements backing the end to negotiations and the referral of the Iranian case to the United Nations Security Council. At the same time, the article notes that United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, after speaking with the Iranian nuclear negotiator, said that Iran was interested in "serious and constructive negotiations," adding that the only acceptable course to follow was "a negotiated one."
    The hook appears to be the fact that Iran failed at one point to disclose some of its activities relating to its nuclear program. Whether or not this is enough justification for referring Iran's case to the Security Council for possible sanctions is not made clear in the article. Very little of Bernstein's and Weisman's article is devoted to Iraq's side of the issue, or in clarifying the precise nature of Iraq's violations or if this indeed merits sanctions. A reader can't help but be confused by this waterfall of propaganda for which The New York Times is famous.
    In another article (1/13/06, p 8), Steven Erlanger  interviews various talking heads on how long Iran is away from building a nuclear weapon, although Iran has repeatedly denied that that is their intent or goal. By writing such articles, the reader is led to believe that it is a foregone conclusion that this is exactly what Iraq is up to. But no justification for this view is given. It's unfortunate when The Times articles revert to the printing of pure propaganda posing as journalism. Sometimes The Times does do a little journalism, but when it comes to foreign policy issues, it just tows the line. In an editorial, entitled "Iran and the Bomb" in the same issue, it states: "Fortunately, Iran is believed to still be several years away from being able to produce nuclear weapons. But it has now embarked on a course that can have no other plausible intent."
    Unfortunately, The Times makes no case to back this statement, except the confusion provided by the previous two articles. The Times insists that Iran, by wanting to produce its own nuclear fuel, has "thumbed its nose" at the Western world, which tried to provide other means of supplying Iran with nuclear fuel. But if Iran did this, the fuel would not be under their control, which is, of course, the optimal situation for any country, particularly one which, The Times asserts, "nature has given ....all the uranium it needs." As an autonomous state, it is natural for Iran, which apparently has the technological expertise necessary, to produce its own supply of nuclear fuel. I'm afraid The Times does not make the case for Iran's intention to use enriched uranium to make a bomb. The Times insists that Iran has "contempt for diplomacy." But it is not Iran that has called off the negotiations. Would it not seem that the nations who have ceased to negotiate are the ones who have contempt for the process?
    We must ask, then, if there is not some other reason why Iran is being set up for condemnation and sanctions. Perhaps the nuclear issue is merely an excuse for the West's ultimately commandeering Iraq's oil supply. Why has The Times not addressed this possibility?