Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, sat down with NBC News this week for an exclusive interview. NBC’s headline and story are: “Iran Foreign Minister: We Believe We Are ‘Very Close’ to Nuke Deal.” But the Times of Israel noted a buried lede–“Zarif: The Netanyahu regime ‘should be annihilated’.” While the American editors focused on boosting prospects for President Barack Obama’s signature diplomatic initiative, their Israeli counterparts focused on the threat that remains.
The full exchange between reporter Ann Curry–who deserves full marks for bringing up the issue, and refusing to let Zarif dodge the question–is posted in the transcript at NBC News’ website, though the story the network focused elsewhere. Zarif denies that Iran wants to kill Jews–after all, he says, there are Jews in Iran–but Curry elicits an admission that Iran does want to annihilate Israel, the state of the Jewish people and the site of the world’s largest concentration of Jews.
ANN CURRY: So how does Iran want to annihilate the regime of Israel, since you’re making the difference?
JAVAD ZARIF: We don’t want to annihilate. We don’t want to–
ANN CURRY: Well, the Supreme Leader–
JAVAD ZARIF: –annihilate anybody.
ANN CURRY: –tweeted that–
JAVAD ZARIF: We have– the– well, what he says–
ANN CURRY: –it should be annihilated.
JAVAD ZARIF: It– it should be annihilated. That this regime is a threat, is a threat…
Zarif has sought to turn the tables on Israel in recent days, calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a threat to peace. Kudos to Curry for refusing to let him get away with it. Why her editors chose to bury the lede demands explanation.