U of T media relations promoting war on Iran

U of T’s media relations team is doing its part to promote the Harper regime’s militarist agenda. Recently, media relations distributed a list of “Iran experts” for the media to contact regarding “a variety of issues related to Iran and its nuclear program”. The scholars listed include professors of Jewish Studies, Israel, International Law and War, but interestingly, not a single member of the U of T’s own Iranian Studies Faculty.

Some of the “Iran experts” U of T is feeding to the media are vocal supporters of war against Iran, such as Aurel Braun, the UTM PoliSci professor who is well-known for his active support of American and Israeli military policies. The list also includes the Munk Centre’s Wesley Wark, a past president of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies; Emanuel Adler, the Charles and Andrea Bronfman Chair in Israeli Studies; and Ed Morgan, a lawyer who has defended the illegal blockade of Gaza.

U of T media relations is working to build the momentum of the war lobby in the wake of the latest IAEA report that was spun in the US and Canadian media as proof of the supposed threat posed by the Iranian state’s development of nuclear technologies. In most of this media coverage, the fact that Iran is in fact a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is apparently not worth mentioning, nor is the fact that Israel, with its hundreds of nuclear warheads and ongoing history of attacking both its neighbours and populations under its control, refuses to join the NPT. This obfuscation is true of U of T’s interventions on the issue as well, with a recent issue of the Bulletin featuring a ranting interview with Braun in which he states that “deterrence will not likely work” because Iran “celebrate[s] death”.

Aurel Braun accompanies Michael Ignatieff at his 2006 apology for saying that Israel's bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana was a war crime

Who is “celebrating death” here? Why is U of T media relations promoting war instead of peace? Shouldn’t a list of “Iran experts” exclude neo-con war lobbyists and include instead actual scholars of Iranian politics and society? Let the media relations team know what you think: bother them at 416-978-0100, media.relations@utoronto.ca.

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