Saturday, May 27, 2006

Lost in translation?

Does the CNN have problems with translation from Arabic to English or is it a case of deliberate twisting of facts?

Yesterday Iraq's and Iran's foreign ministers had a joint press conference in Baghdad after which the CNN ran a headline that reads "Iraqi minister defends Iranian nuclear program" and wrote:

Iran has a right to develop nuclear technology and the international community should drop its demands that Tehran prove it's not trying to build a nuclear weapon, Iraq's foreign minister said Friday.


"Iran doesn't claim that they want to obtain a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb, so there is no need that we ask them for any guarantee now," Hoshyar Zebari said after meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki.

I wasn't there at the press conference but I was able to find an audio clip of the same part of minister Zibari's statement through Radio Sawa, and what he said here is so much different from what the CNN claimed he did (my translation):

We respect Iran's and every other nation's right to pursue nuclear technology for research purposes and peaceful use given they accept [giving] the internationally required guarantees that this will not lead to an armament race in the region…

Audio clip available here (Arabic)

Listening to the 2nd version of the story (in Zibari's own voice) it is clear that Iraq recognizes Iran's right to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes exclusively and is moreover asking Iran for guarantees, not the other way around CNN!

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