Iran Threatens: ‘Prepare the Shelters.’ AP Cites Iran’s Friendly Relations ‘With All Countries’

The Associated Press, the international news agency which in 2018 infamously invented that “Iran has never threatened to attack Israel,” leverages Iran’s unveiling this week of a new attack drone to again whitewash the belligerent regime which routinely calls for genocide of Israelis. 

About the unveiling of the war drone, Reuters rightly reported, “A video released on Tuesday by Iranian media displayed the drone among other military hardware, with text saying ‘prepare your shelters’ in both Hebrew and Persian.”

On its website, Haaretz expanded about that threat yesterday: “Published on Iran’s military industry day, the video’s text reflects simmering tensions between arch foes Iran and Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying on Monday that Tehran has funded and encouraged a series of recent deadly attacks against Israelis.” Entitled “‘Prepare the Shelters’: With Hebrew Threat, Iran Unveils Armed Drone Which Can Hit Israel,” Haaretz‘s article is attributed to both AP and Reuters, with the information on Iran’s threat to attack Israeli communities clearly originating with Reuters.

AP’s article, for its part, “Iran unveils armed drone resembling America’s MQ-9 Raeaper and says it could potentially reach Israel,” contains not one word about the “prepare your shelters” and “fire is on the way” threats, hardly expressions of friendly relations.

Instead, AP’s Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell report:

“Today we can firmly introduce Iran as an advanced and technologic nation to the world,” [President Ebrahim] Raisi said in comments aired on state television.

He reiterated Iran’s stance about friendly relations with ‘all countries in the world,” adding that Iran’s armed forces will cut off any hand that will reaches [sic] out in an attempt to invade Iran, state TV reported.

And like that, the “prepare your shelters” threat is wiped from the record, a total erasure mirroring Iranian fantasies and threats about wiping Israel off the “global political map.” Notably, not only does AP not report the “prepare your shelters” threat, but the news service also casts “Iran’s stance about friendly relations ‘with countries in the world'” at face value, failing to even qualify as “Iran’s stance about friendly relations” with all countries as alleged. While the reporters do note Raisi’s statement that his country’s military “will cut off any hand that will reach out in an attempt to invate Iran,” that comment suggests defensive posturing, as opposed to the offensive threats of mass annihiliation which have characterized official Iranian rhetoric.

Incidentally, here is the same President Raisi, embracing the country’s ostensible stance on friendly relations with Israel this past April (translation by MEMRI):

The enemies of the Islamic Revolution should know — and the Zionist regime in particularly has surely received this message — that the slightest action against the Islamic Republic of Iran will evoke a severe response from Iran’s armed forces.

They should know for certain that the smallest mistake against the security of Iran will result in the destruction of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

AP’s Karimi reported on Raisi’s comments at the time (“Iran renews threats against Israel during Army Day parade“). AP now fails to address how Iran’s repeated threats to wipe Israel off the map, including this week’s “prepare your shelters” warning, informs “Iran’s stance about friendly relations with ‘all countries in the world.'”

4:00 pm EST Update: Times of Israel Fixes AP's Story

The Times of Israel, which had initially republished the Associated Press article as the wire service wrote it, implemented significant improvements in response to communication from CAMERA's Israel office. Initially entitled "Iran unveils armed drone, claims it could reach Israel," the updated headline now states: "'Prepare Your Shelters': Iran unveils armed drone, claims it could reach Israel." In addition, editors inserted the following new paragraph immediately following the opening paragraph:

Iranian media carried a video displaying the drone and other weaponry, with accompanying text, in Hebrew and Persian, warning ‘Prepare your shelters’ and ‘fire is on the way.’”

In addition, the Times of Israel embedded an X (formerly Twitter) social media post of Iran's "prepare your shelters" video threat. Finally, Times of Israel editors commendably cut out the problematic wording citing "Iran's stance about friendly relations with 'all countries in the world.'" That amended passage now simply and accurately reports that Raisi "said Iran's armed forces would cut off any hand that reaches out in an attempt to invade Iran, state TV reported."

As of this writing the Associated Press has failed to likewise heed calls to make much needed changes to the article.

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