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Friday, June 15

Oh dear. Pundita fell for a fish tale

It was just the other day I lectured Sputnik that if you blink while following war news you're lost. Well, this morning I blinked. I confess I didn't bother to verify the Al-Masdar News report when I posted it around 7 this morning -- after waiting up all night for the famous Southern Offensive to begin. 

At least AMN was awake enough to insert "allegedly" in their headline about the Al-Arabia report, whereas I assumed Al-Arabia wouldn't lie about a story that could so easily be checked. True, but that doesn't mean they can't be misled. The lesson is Never Assume. 

Anyhow, Moon of Alabama sorts it all out:

Jordan Shows Gratitude For Saudi Gift By Planting Fake News
June 15, 2018
Moon of Alabama

Politicians like to manipulate news outlets for their purposes. Below is a nice little example of how this works.

Today the Saudi owned fish-wrap Al Arabiya tweeted this:
Al Arabiya English @AlArabiya_Eng - 11:12 AM - 15 Jun 2018
#Jordan withdraws ambassador from #Iran: Source tells Al Arabiya English: “There is no intention to name another Jordanian envoy in #Tehran at the time,” the source said.
http://ara.tv/n4ngn
That tweet made me curious. I was pretty sure that Jordan had withdrawn its ambassador from Iran quite a while ago. Indeed - on April 18 2016 several outlets had reported such: Jordan follows Riyadh's lead and recalls Iran ambassador
Abdullah Abu Rumman, Jordan's ambassador to Iran, has been recalled to Amman over Tehran's policies towards Arab countries, said Mohammed Momani, the government spokesperson.
An Iranian contact confirms to me that there has been no Jordanian ambassador in Iran since April 2016.

What happened?

The Al Arabiya link goes to a page with the URL:
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/06/15/Jordan-withdraws-ambassador-from-Iran-Source-tells-Al-Arabiya.html
The original headline of the piece, visible in the URL, was "Jordan withdraws ambassador from Iran: Source tells Al Arabiya". It  has since been changed to:
Jordan won’t name an ambassador to Iran: Source tells Al Arabiya English
high-ranking Jordanian source told Al Arabiya English on Friday that Jordan transferred its ambassador Abdullah Abu Rumman from Iran to the Jordanian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Amman based on a decision by the Jordanian cabinet.“There is no intention to name another Jordanian envoy in Tehran at the time,” the source told Al Arabiya English.
Commenting on the decision’s circumstances, the source reiterated: “Jordan’s fixed position from Iranian policies which include interfering in the affairs of the region’s countries,” and voiced Jordan’s concern over “the security of the region’s countries particularly of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.”
“Saudi Arabia’s security is (part) of our security,” he said, adding: “We are concerned over our Arab and Gulf depth.”
In response to a question from Al Arabiya English, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi stressed that “the security and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is part of the security and stability of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”.
...
It seems to me that the "high-ranking Jordanian source", [is] very likely the later-quoted Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, scammed Al Arabiya. He used vague wording to insinuated that Jordan just now recalled its ambassador from Iran when that in fact had happened two years ago. It took a while for Al Arabiya to recognize that it had been had and to change its headline.

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