Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Iran Under Ceaseless Spates of Propaganda and
Demonization by Western Corporate Media
By Kourosh Ziabari
Al-Jazeerah: CCUN, May 31, 2010
Iran is under
the ceaseless spates of propaganda and demonization by the west. In my
article, I've shed a light on the deceptions of the corporate mainstream
media and cited some evidences and quotations of the people who believe that
the Western media are portraying Iran antagonistically.
Iran was not what we had thought
Although the relentless and incessant spates of mainstream media's
psychological warfare have turned Iran into a hazardous and insecure region
in the eyes of global public opinions, thousands of Western tourists "take
the risk" of traveling to Iran each year to behold in person the concealed
and withheld realities of the peaceful and magnificent Iran which a hawkish
leader had idiotically categorized as a part of the so-called "Axis of
The American, French, German, British and Australian
citizens who voluntarily travel to Iran to discover the veiled face of this
ancient land usually confess identically that Iran had not been what they
had thought. The interesting similarity in the viewpoints and statements of
the Western citizens who find their preconceptions and prejudgments about
Iran absolutely unfounded and erroneous upon visiting the country clearly
reveals the fact that the Western corporate media are portraying Iran
antagonistically and this is simply a misleading indoctrination to the
global audiences who don't have sufficient information about Iran, its
ancient civilization, history and contemporary developments.
foreign tourists, specially the western journalists and artists who come to
Iran to examine the veracity of their countries' media propaganda, usually
get surprised and astonished by arriving at the splendor of Iran, its
cultural heritage, industrial advancements and natural beauties.
The Western mainstream media's dominant trajectory with regard to Iran is
mere demonization and nothing else. They never run a documentary about the
ancient buildings of Iran. They never show the glorious mosques and palaces
of Iran. They never introduce the young geniuses and talents of Iran. They
never allow anything about the scientific and artistic breakthroughs of
Iranians to be disclosed and discussed. They never allow their audiences to
know that Iran has been historically the land of architecture, carpet,
saffron and pistachio. Their only agendum is to shrewdly withhold from the
public what exalts Iran and maliciously exaggerate what chips away at Iran.
However, those who have come to Iran and touched the distorted
truths about the country can best evaluate the authenticity of what their
media tell them of Iran.
In April 2009, a group of 9 American movie
stars and directors headed by Sid Ganis, the former President of Academy of
Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, traveled to Iran to share experiences
with the Iranian cinema activists and filmmakers. Upon returning to the
U.S., Sid Ganis gave an interview to the Foreign Policy Journal and
confessed that Iran was entirely different than what he had imagined: "We
were met with an incredibly warm and hospitable welcome by the filmmakers of
Iran, and the people in general. Everywhere we went, people approached us to
talk and take pictures with usÖ Iranians are very sophisticated, educated
and culturally literate people and they have access to far more western
media and technology than any of us had realized."
"Iran has been
so difficult to visit for Americans, and there are so many preconceptions
about it, that itís hard to get an accurate picture without actually going
there yourself. Every day, and virtually every hour, we encountered
something that was interesting, extraordinary or surprising about Iran,"
Earlier, a group of New Zealander tourists, headed by
the New Zealand Herald journalist Jill Worrall had traveled to Iran in
January 2009 and visited its large, attractive cities, including Tehran,
Isfahan, Shiraz and Kish island.
In an interview with the Finland's
Ovi Magazine, Jill Worrall described her feelings about Iran and the
psychological warfare which is targeted toward its people: "I have never
believed the "axis of evil" label, specially given that the phrase was
coined by someone for whom I have absolutely no respect and certainly no
confidence in terms of his opinions. I've spent more than 20 years as a
journalist and realized long ago that what is portrayed in the media and
what is reality is often very different. I also believe that before you make
any comment about a country, or for that matter any person, you should visit
it first, see it for yourself and talk to the people there."
absolutely agree that Iran is the most misunderstood country in the world Ė
in my experience at least but I suspect even among the countries I havenít
visited none gets quite as much bad press as Iran. Itís true that even many
New Zealanders, who are legendary for being well-traveled, often think Iím
going to Iraq and Iím afraid as you well know many people often mistakenly
refer to it as an Arab country," she added.
The same statements and
declarations have been made by a number of other Western figures several
times. The American author and TV personality Rick Steves who traveled to
Iran in November 2009 writes in his personal website: "Esfahan, Iran's
"second city" with 3.5 million people, is a showcase of ancient Persian
splendor. One of the finest cities in Islam, and famous for its dazzling
blue-tiled domes and romantic bridges, the city is also just plain
enjoyable. I'm not surprised that in Iran, this is the number-one honeymoon
Another notable American who weighed in on Iran and
his experience of traveling to this marvelous land was Shannon Kelley, the
independent movie consultant and the Director of Programming of the Morelia
International Film Festival in Morelia who attended the first edition of
Cinema Verite International Documentary Film Festival in Tehran as a guest.
Kelley believes that Iran is a wonderful country: "I expected that some
conversations might be impossible, or that I might be viewed with hostility.
I attribute this to the excesses of the international press; but in the
contrary, I found a community of like-minded, hospitable, curious people,
including complete strangers who approached me with great energy and
kindness. I spent a woefully short amount of time in Iran, but my point of
view on what is possible between us has dramatically shifted, for the
Anyway, the people whom we just cited were only few among
the thousands of those who come to Iran and find their expectations to be
totally wrong. The stream of propaganda and demonization may continue;
however, the conscience and morality are the values which will be
perpetuated by those who are seeking truth, and the truth of Iran needs
ceaseless endeavor to be demonstrated.