World 25 September 2009 Iran and lazy journalism Muddled Metro gets it wrong on nukes Print HTML Aidan Radnedge's cover story in Metro this morning is an abysmal piece of journalism -- if, indeed, it can be called journalism. Headlined "We will rid world of nuclear arms" (sorry, there doesn't seem to be a link available for the piece on the Metro website) and focusing on the UN's "landmark pledge" to abolish nukes, his bizarre piece claims in its opening paragraph that the pledge was made "despite defiance from Iran and North Korea". Really? Iran? Defiant on nuclear weapons? The Iranian regime is proudly, publicly and defiantly committed only to nuclear energy, not nuclear weapons. You could argue -- without a shred of evidence -- that the Iranians are secretly building a nuclear bomb, and should not therefore be trusted with a uranium enrichment programme, but you can't then pretend that they would be bragging about it at the United Nations. The reality is that as long ago as 2003 the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, proclaimed in a fatwa that "the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam" and that "the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons". In the penultimate paragraph of the article, Radnedge chooses flatly to contradict his own inflammatory claim from the opening paragraph by actually quoting from the official Iranian statement at the UN yesterday: "Our commitment to non-proliferation remains intact." Which is it, Aidan? Is (non-nuclear) Iran committed to "non-proliferation", or is it in "defiance"? › Five of the Best Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12. Subscribe More Related articles Donald Trump has won, even if he loses the US election The most dangerous job in America? US presidents have a fatality rate roughly 27 times that of lumberjacks A loyalist rebranded: will Ségolène Royal run again to be the French President?