Ahmadinejad orders Iranian press what to write/
Iranian Regime Instructs on Press How to Report on Nuclear Issue and Iraq
On March 5, 2008, the online daily Rooz exposed a secret letter dated February 11, 2008 from Iran's Supreme National Security Council to the editors of Iranian newspapers and news agencies. The letter, signed by the Deputy Minister of Education and Islamic Guidance, was sent in preparation for the publication of the report by International Atomic Energy Agency director Mohamed ElBaradei (on February 22, 2008) and the U.N. Security Council's third sanctions resolution against Iran (on March 3, 2008). It contained instructions for the reporting of various issues - especially on the ElBaradei report, which assessed the extent of Iran's cooperation with the IAEA, on the Iran-U.S. talks regarding Iraq, and on the recent elections in Iran. It also contained guidelines regarding the proper line to take towards the U.N. and the West.
The instructions stressed the following propaganda messages: Iran must be presented as having scored a victory in the nuclear arena, regardless of the findings of the ElBaradei report; threats must be made against the West, and especially against Europe, against persisting in their anti-Iran policy; Western policy must be presented as motivated by a desire to keep the Islamic world in a state of technological backwardness; Iranian public opinion must be presented as uniformly supportive of the nuclear program; the Islamic world must be presented as unanimously sympathetic to Iran and to its nuclear achievements; the sanctions resolution must be described as illegal, and a contemptuous tone must be taken towards the U.N. institutions and its resolutions. The letter was stamped "secret" (for a photograph of the original letter, as published by Rooz, see the appendix to this report).
Citing a source in the Iranian President's Office, Rooz also reported that this office received instructions to prepare public festivities to celebrate the favorable findings of the ElBaradei report - this, two weeks before the report was published. The source also stated that, after the publication of report, the President's Office reviewed the headlines of the major Iranian papers, and ranked them according to their compliance with the letter of guidelines to the media. According to the source, the Tehran Chief Prosecutor's office was instructed to take punitive steps against the daily Etemad, which presented an independent analysis characterizing the ElBaradei report as "ambivalent."
Following the publication of the IAEA report, dissident journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi condemned Ahmadinejad's government for the slanted manner in which it had presented this report to the Iranian public. Zeidabadi wrote that Ahmadinejad's government habitually lies to the people, and distorts reports and quotations in order to gain the public's support for its policies.
The following are excerpts from the Rooz reports and from Zeidabadi's article.
The Supreme National Security Council's Secret Letter of Guidelines
"To: All editors of the national press and local news agencies.
"Following are the decisions of the Media Policy Committee of the Supreme National Security Council secretariat regarding [coverage of] the nuclear issue, Iraq, the elections, etc., brought to you for perusal and implementation.
"A. The Nuclear Issue