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When Journalists Cherrypick


Barbara Slavin, a USA Today correspondent on leave now at the U.S. Institute of Peace, today placed a short essay in The National Interest online in which she writes:

Perhaps mindful of these common concerns, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has for the first time opened the door to improving relations with the United States. He told an audience in the central Iranian city of Yazd on Thursday that while re-establishing ties would be “harmful” now, “we never said this relationship should be cut forever . . . Certainly, the day when having relations with America is useful for the nation, I will be the first one to approve.”

When journalists use ellipses, it’s always interesting to see what was left out. Here is what Khamenei actually said:

“Severing of relations with America is one of fundamental policy, but we have never said that this relationship will be severed in forever. But the conditions of the U.S. government mean that establishment of relations is not to the benefit of the nation now, and we shall naturally not follow such a policy.”

Khamenei continued:

“The U.S. government is personalization of Satan, or the hegemon which has met an obstacle in the shape of the awakened nation of Iran.”


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