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Report of Next P5+1 Talks Belated like Darfur from EU, Its Favored Media Scooped

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 16 -- That Iran and the so-called EU3+3 aim to talk again in early November, with Iran hopes the US at the level of Secretary of State John Kerry, seems a good thing. But how was this reported?

  The Spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Michael Mann, canceled a briefing for journalists in Geneva covering the talks. His Twitter feed went silent for 15 hours in the middle of the talks, after Ashton's belated condemnation of a deadly attack on UN peacekeepers in Darfur four days previous.

  Inner City Press asked if this was "on delay." The document Mann linked to does not even MENTION Darfur or UNAMID.

  Yesterday we noted the incongruity, for example, of Reuters covering the Geneva talks with four separate scribes even as editor Stephen Adler speaks of five percent newsroom cuts. (Perhaps relatedly, as Fars got scoops Reuters tweeted the price of hamburgers in Geneva. It is true, as this internal UN post-Sri Lanka proposal exclusively published Friday by Inner City Press puts it, that New York is viewed as a cheaper "duty station" than Geneva.)

 But Iran is the big one for Reuters: at the UN in New York, they festooned their office door proudly with copies of complaints about their reporting from Iran's Mission to the UN. Was this for gumshoe reporting or simply getting leaks from the UK and France?

  In Geneva, a first scoop came from Iran's Fars agency. As noted, when Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the only journalists who went up to Ban's 38th floor office to cover it were with Iranian media and Inner City Press.

  Up there, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif quipped to UN Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi that he would see him soon in Tehran. Downstairs, the so-called UN Correspondents Association used UN resources to celebrate themselves, having hosted a faux UN briefing by Saudi-sponsored Syria rebel boss Ahmad al Jarba. This is how it works -- UNCA or its first vice president from Reuters also in essence spy for the UN, click here for story, audio, document. This has yet to be explained.

It is at the level of foreign ministers that Iran wants the November talks. There are sure to be questions to the US State Department's Jen Psaki and Marie Harf, present at the talks, about this. Harf was tweeting, even as other parts of the US State Department said they stopped, including on the UN Security Council's recent Africa trip, due to or to highlight the US government shutdown. Ah, politics. Watch this site.


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