Iranians read newspapers for sale on a pavement in Tehran
Iranians read newspapers for sale on a Tehran pavement in 2008. Iranian newspapers have played down US accusations that Tehran was involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, but those reporting on the American charges were unanimous in rejecting them. © Atta Kenare - AFP/File
Iranians read newspapers for sale on a pavement in Tehran
AFP
Last updated: October 13, 2011

Iran's press gives muted play to US 'plot'

Iranian newspapers on Thursday played down US accusations that Tehran was involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, but those reporting on the American charges were unanimous in rejecting them.

Only three dailies among the dozen major titles available in Tehran gave front-page prominence to the US claims.

Another four put their reports on inside pages, where less-important news is usually published. The others ignored the story.

Etemad, a daily aligned with reformists in Iran, said in its main front-page story that "America and Europe want to (use) the accusation to once again bring up Iran's nuclear case in the UN Security Council."

Tehran Emrouz, a conservative paper, said in a front-page editorial that the US claims of the alleged plot "should be analysed as a fresh effort... to create division between the two major Islamic countries," meaning Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Keyhan, a hardline daily, offered a minor headline on its front page linked to its report on page 14, in which it said the "pathetic scenario" was a US effort to distract attention from the anti-Wall Street protests.

Developments in the Middle East have also dealt a blow to US and Israeli foreign policy and "created a deteriorating situation for the (US President Barack) Obama administration ahead of (next year's presidential) election," it added.

Javan, a newspaper with a hardline stance that is seen as close to Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who were accused of involvement in the alleged plot, buried its mention inside, on page six.

"American-Zionist media in a coordinated move published news that an Iranian wanted to bomb Tel Aviv's embassy in Washington and also assassinate the Saudi ambassador ... to downplay their scandals in the past," it said.

"They have no proof."

Shargh, a publication in the reformist camp, said in an inside editorial that the Americans "have underestimated and insulted the intelligence of the Iranians."

It also opined that "other countries as well as the Middle East would suffer the consequences of a military conflict breaking out between Washington and Tehran."

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