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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 16:50 GMT
Iran media scorn New Yorker story
Iranian press graphic

Iranian media commentators are refusing to take seriously a claim in the American news magazine The New Yorker that US special forces are operating in Iran targeting military sites as a prelude to a possible military strike.

The report by the journalist Seymour Hersh is viewed as a part of a campaign of psychological warfare against Tehran, and is also seen as reflecting a split within US security circles.

"Although America is the biggest enemy of Iran...this [report] is bombast and a big lie," says the conservative daily Siyasat-e-Ruz.

"Certain groups in Iran and America have launched a campaign of psychological warfare to show the economic and military presence of America in the country in order to deprive Iranians from their power of electoral manoeuvre in the next election."

Iranians are due to vote in an election for a new president later this year.

America cannot invade Iran like Iraq and Afghanistan, since American strategists know that there is an unbreakable link between the people and the political system

Another conservative daily, Resalat, also believes the report is part of "the massive negative propaganda of imperialist media against the Islamic Republic of Iran".

"America cannot invade Iran like Iraq and Afghanistan, since American strategists know that there is an unbreakable link between the people and the political system," it warns.

"The secret of the Islamic Republic's success against enemy plots and threats is the fact that the people are always present to defend the achievements of the Islamic Revolution."


The reformist Shargh quotes analysts as saying the Hersh report "proves that the CIA and Pentagon are at loggerheads and that the information in the report was leaked by the CIA".

Linking the story to the efforts by EU countries to get Tehran to curtail its nuclear activities, Shargh warns them that "they cannot expect any guarantee from Iran in mutual confidence-building if they cannot guarantee that their pledges are supported or at least respected by the US".

An Iranian radio commentator believes that the new US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will find it hard to up the ante against Tehran, despite what he described as her "hostile" remarks before the Senate Foreign Policy Committee.

"Besides supporting the Europeans' talks with Iran, Rice could offer no alternative...This is the reason for the Americans' decision not to oppose the European initiative to maintain talks and constructive interaction with Iran. America has no other tool at its disposal to deal with Iran," the commentator continues.

Noting that Ms Rice spoke of Washington's desire "to mend its strained relations with the rest of the world", the commentator concludes: "Contrary to her harsh slogans against Iran, in practice she may be compelled to adjust America's hostile policies against our country."

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

Iran rejects US operations claims
18 Jan 05 |  Middle East
US rebuts 'Iran covert op' claim
17 Jan 05 |  Americas

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