If you don’t hear much about the Iranian mob which stormed the British embassy earlier today in future news reports, you can probably at least partially blame the Associated Press, which considers the event so unimportant that it’s not even part of its U.S. main site’s top ten world stories as of 10:25 p.m. (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes).
For those who are curious as to the identification of the ten stories considered more important, here they are:
- Greece gets $10.7 billion but rescue plan stalls
- Plane believed carrying Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo lands
- $4.8 billion Peru gold mine project suspended
- US man leaves jail in Aruba missing case
- Officials extend voting to 2nd day in Congo
- Zimbabwe militants call for restaurant boycott
- Border staff, teachers join major UK strike
- Norway killer found insane, unfit for prison
- Chilean judge charges ex-US military officer
- Jamaica investigator probing troubled gov’t agency
Geez, only two stories (#1 and #8, which is about Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who committed and has confessed to the murder of 77 children earlier this year) are even in the neighborhood of being as important or more important than the Iranian mob’s attack on the British embassy. There’s no conceivable way that it doesn’t belong in the top ten stories.
There is a related AP story time-stamped at 3:48 PM ET. Here are several paragraphs from it:
Iranian protesters storm British Embassy in Tehran
Hard-line Iranian protesters stormed British diplomatic compounds Tuesday, hauling down the Union Jack, torching an embassy vehicle and pelting buildings with petrol bombs in what began as an apparent state-approved show of anger over the latest Western sanctions to punish Tehran for defiance over its nuclear program.
The hours-long assault on the British Embassy and a residential complex for staff – in chaotic scenes reminiscent of the seizing of the U.S. Embassy in 1979 – could push already frayed diplomatic ties toward the breaking point.
… Calling Tuesday’s attack “outrageous and indefensible,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Iran’s failure to defend the embassy and its staff was a disgrace and would have “serious consequences.”
He said all embassy staff had been accounted for and praised Britain’s ambassador to Iran for handling a “dangerous situation with calm and professionalism.”
Sorting out who to blame may be difficult.
Sorting out who actually did the storming may be difficult, but there’s little doubt that the Iranian government, though it has gotten matters mostly back under control, didn’t mind seeing it happen.
And it wouldn’t be an AP report without a backhanded attempt to excuse what happened:
Tensions with Britain date back to the 19th century when the Persian monarchy gave huge industrial concessions to London, which later included significant control over Iran’s oil industry. In 1953, Britain and the U.S. helped organized a coup that overthrew a nationalist prime minister and restored the pro-Western shah to power.
In recent years, Iran was angered by Britain’s decision in 2007 to honor author Salman Rushdie with a knighthood. Rushdie went into hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, ordering Muslims to kill him because his novel “The Satanic Verses” allegedly insulted Islam.
In March 2007, Iran detained 15 British sailors and marines for allegedly entering the country’s territorial waters in the Gulf – a claim Britain denies. The 15 were released after nearly two weeks in captivity.
In 2006, angry mobs burned the Danish flag and attacked Danish and other Western embassies in Tehran to protest the reprinting of a cartoon deemed insulting of the Prophet Muhammad in the Nordic country’s newspapers.
Yeah, you read that right. The AP used Danish cartoons as a historical excuse for a mob to break into the British embassy. Zheesh.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.