Tell the WaPo: Stop Getting Ahead of the Facts on Iran!

The Washington Post is at it again.

A September 15 article in the Post contained the following gem (emphasis mine): [1]

Israel’s security establishment fears that a failure to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons could encourage Tehran, Syria’s ally, to continue to enrich uranium for a bomb.

This sentence implies that Iran is currently enriching uranium for a nuclear bomb. But there is no evidence at all that this is the case. [2] In fact, both US and Israeli intelligence agree that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon. [3] So the Post should correct this sentence.

We've been through all of this before with the Post's former Ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, who acknowledged that a header and subheader the Post printed back in 2011 was misleading because it implied that Iran was trying to build a nuclear weapon. [4] Asked to weigh in on the current controversy, Pexton responded on Twitter that [5]

That sentence is easy to miss but I think it should be corrected. No govt has yet said Iran is enriching for a bomb.

Unfortunately, the Post eliminated the Ombudsman position earlier this year when Pexton's contract ran out. [6] He was "replaced" by Douglas Feaver, who holds the title "Reader Representative." But Feaver has yet to respond to numerous calls over the last month to correct misleading Post passages on Iran's nuclear program. [7]

Let's flood Feaver's inbox so he can't ignore the truth any longer. It only took 1500 emails to get Pexton to issue his original correction. [8] With your help, we may be able to stop the Post from getting ahead of the facts on Iran yet again.

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

Help us reach our September fundraising goal—donate to Just Foreign Policy! Help close the gap by making a $15 tax-deductible donation today.


1. “Kerry tells Israel that Syria accord is no prelude to Iran deal,” Anne Gearan and William Booth, Washington Post, September 15, 2013,
2. “No, Iran is not enriching uranium to weapons grade,” Sina Toosi, Iran Fact Check,
3. “Do the US and Israel Believe Iran is Developing Nuclear Weapons?” Iran Fact Check,
4. “Getting ahead of the facts on Iran,” Patrick Pexton, Washington Post, December 9, 2011,
5. “WaPo: Back to Getting Ahead of the Facts on Iran,” Megan Iorio, Just Foreign Policy, September 16, 2013,
6. “Post ombudsman will be replaced by reader representative,” Paul Farhi, Washington Post, March 1, 2013,
7. “WaPo: Back to Getting Ahead of the Facts on Iran,” Megan Iorio, Just Foreign Policy, September 16, 2013,
8. “Victory! WaPo Fixes Headline Claiming Iran Has Nuclear Weapons Program,” Megan Iorio, Just Foreign Policy, December 7, 2011,

Anne Gearan and William Booth’s article , "Kerry tells Israel that Syria accord is no prelude to Iran deal," published in WP on 9/15/13, claims that: [1]
“Israel’s security establishment fears that a failure to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons could encourage Tehran, Syria’s ally, to continue to enrich uranium for a bomb.”
This sentence implies that Iran is currently enriching uranium to build a nuclear bomb. However, years of sustained effort by various intelligence agencies, including those of Israel and her allies, have failed to produce any evidence that Iran is enriching uranium to build a bomb.[2] In fact, both US and Israeli intelligence agree that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon. [3]
The WP statement is totally wrong and should be corrected. It is especially important to make this correction because in December 2011, the Post’s former Ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, acknowledged that a header and a subheader that implied that Iran was trying to build a nuclear weapon were misleading. [4]. Pexton, who was asked to comment on the new incorrect passage published in 9/15/13, responded on Twitter: [5] “That sentence is easy to miss but I think it should be corrected. No govt has yet said Iran is enriching for a bomb.”
I hope the Post will correct this passage as soon as possible.


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