4:00 PM ET UPDATE:
Around 4:00 PM ET, Voice of America Persian Service website finally posted a news report on Iran nuclear freeze date announcement and the White House statement. BBC Persian Service website posted its report on the Iran nuclear deal about two hours earlier. During that time, VOA Persian Service website was still showing an outdated report on nuclear negotiations in Geneva. The Voice of America was beaten in reporting on this story by both BBC and Iran’s Press TV. The White House statement on the Iran nuclear deal was already available to the media and the Voice of America could have reported on it immediately if its online news reporting system was functional.
VOA English website posted its report at about 2:15 PM ET. Iran’s Press TV posted its report at about 1:45 PM ET. BBC English posted its report at about 1:50 PM ET.
3:30 PM ET UPDATE:
As of 3:30 PM ET, Voice of America (VOA) Persian Service website still has no report on Iran nuclear freeze date announcement and the White House statement.
VOA English posted its news report at about 2:15 PM ET on Iran nuclear freeze date announcement, well after it was reported as top breaking news by BBC, which also quoted a statement from President Obama already available to the media. As of 3:00 PM ET, the Voice of America Persian Service website still has no report on this news development. Even as late as 3:15PM ET, VOA Persian website is still showing on its homepage an outdated news report on Geneva talks as its lead news item.
BBC Persian Service has been reporting extensively on its website on the Iran nuclear freeze date announcement and the White House statement. BBC Persian is also quoting President Obama.
BBC English posted its news report at about 1:50 PM ET, about 30 minutes before VOA English. VOA did not move quickly to report on the White House statement which was made available to the media.
Iran’s Press TV posted its news report on its English language website at 1:45PM ET, beating the Voice of America by about an hour. Press TV quoted a statement to reporters from Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi.
BBC is providing links to three related reports on its homepage. BBC report is already showing more than 300 Facebook “Likes.” Late-posted VOA report is showing 3 Facebook “Likes.”
- Iran nuclear deal to enter into force on 20 January, BBC
- Q&A: Iran nuclear crisis, BBC
- Iran nuclear deal: Key points, BBC
- Secret talks set stage for deal, BBC
- Israel and Gulf share fears, BBC
An interim agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear program will enter into force on 20 January, BBC and other U.S. and international media reported. U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) has not yet reported this news on its English language news website as of 2:08 PM ET Sunday.
The deal, agreed in talks with world powers in November, envisages easing of some international sanctions on Tehran.
BBC reports that President Obama “welcomed the news but said more work was needed to strike a long-term deal. He threatened new sanctions if there was a breach.” There is still no news on the VOA website on this development and President Obama’s statement.
It is astounding but not unusual that the Voice of America is not able to report promptly on news announcements from the U.S. President and the White House.
VOA Homepage Screenshot as of 2:08 PM ET, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2014
Statement by the President on the Implementation of the First Step Agreement on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program
Today’s agreement to implement the Joint Plan of Action announced in November marks the first time in a decade that the Islamic Republic of Iran has agreed to specific actions that halt progress on its nuclear program and roll back key parts of the program. Beginning January 20th, Iran will for the first time start eliminating its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible. Iran has agreed to limit its enrichment capability by not installing or starting up additional centrifuges or using next-generation centrifuges. New and more frequent inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites will allow the world to verify that Iran is keeping its commitments. Taken together, these and other steps will advance our goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
In return, over the next six months the United States and our P5+1 partners — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union –- will begin to implement modest relief so long as Iran fulfills its obligations and as we pursue a comprehensive solution to Iran’s nuclear program. Meanwhile, we will continue to vigorously enforce the broader sanctions regime, and if Iran fails to meet its commitments we will move to increase our sanctions.
Unprecedented sanctions and tough diplomacy helped to bring Iran to the negotiating table, and I’m grateful to our partners in Congress who share our goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation.
With today’s agreement, we have made concrete progress. I welcome this important step forward, and we will now focus on the critical work of pursuing a comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program. I have no illusions about how hard it will be to achieve this objective, but for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed.