Senator Santorum, a Republican of Pennsylvania, and Senator Bayh, a Democrat of Indiana, will host a MEMRI-sponsored event tomorrow at the U.S. Capitol about Iranian government-controlled television.
Building on last summer's "Must See Iran TV," MEMRI again has put together a critical set of translated clips from Iranian television programming that emphasize themes associated with Iran's nuclear aspirations, its acquisition of offensive weapons, anti-Americanism, and statements by leading Iranian government officials, including President Ahmadinejad.
The event will feature clips from the Iranian TV channels IRINN, Jaam-E-Jam 1-2-3-4, Al-Alam, Sahar, IRIB, and Iran 1-2-3-4, among others.
In addition, the briefing will highlight how the Iranian government has used its TV channels as a platform to disclose the latest developments of its military, therefore providing the West with critical strategic information. Such footage includes the new Nahang submarine, first shown on March 8 on IRINN; new uranium enrichment facilities, shown on April 11 on Channel 1, the debut of the Mesbah satellite, shown on July 20, 2005, on Channel 2, and Iranian divers planting mines, shown on April 2 on IRINN.
Channel 4 first showed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard testing its new, mass-produced flying boat, capable of "launching different types of weapons," on April 4, while Channel 2 first unveiled the Ghadir, the new Iranian submarine, on May 10.
Iran's state-controlled TV also broadcasts interviews with government and military officials that contain useful information. For example, in an interview on IRINN on April 12, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, General Ali Fadaui, announced the testing of the world's fastest underwater missile, which can "be used against fleets as well as large submarines."
A former Iranian defense minister, Admiral Ali Al-Shamkhani, appeared on Channel 2 on July 23, 2005, and gave out information about his country's space program: "The Defense Ministry has entered the fourth dimension of defense. Previously, we operated in air, land, and sea. ... Significant steps have been made in the fields of reception stations, control, launching, launch pads, and satellite tracking. ... This is a launching pad for the Defense Ministry in order to meet the needs of the armed forces in space."
Admiral Shamkhani also appeared on Channel 2 on March 21, talking about the successful test of the Shabab 3 missile, which, he said, can be "produced like candy." And the head of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization, Gholam-Reza Aghazedeh, appeared on IRINN on April 13, disclosing details never before made public about Iran's nuclear project, including the creation of new nuclear facilities, centrifuges, and heavy-water manufacturing.
By monitoring Iranian TV, vital information not only about weapon components, but also about the Iranian government's nuclear negotiating strategy can be understood. When the Iranian intelligence minister, Ali Yunesi, spoke to Channel 2 on July 16, 2005, he let it slip that his government uses double agents to provide faulty information to America to "keep them busy and fool them."
Similarly, a member of the Iranian Supreme Council for National Security and the chief negotiator on nuclear affairs, Hosein Musavian, appeared on Channel 2 on August 4, 2005, and admitted that Iran used negotiations with Europe to buy time to allow for the completion of multiple components of its nuclear program.
While Iran has always insisted its desire for nuclear technology is not for military purposes, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki appeared on Channel 2 on June 7 and let out this Freudian slip: "We emphasize the peaceful nature of our nuclear weapons ... I mean ... of our nuclear power plant, and nuclear energy and activities. We have no need for nuclear weapons, as we've often said."
By listening to and watching Iran state-controlled TV, the Iranian government's true military ambitions can be understood. On April 17, the chief of the Iranian army's joint staff, General Abdorrahim Musavi, spoke on Channel 2 and discussed the possibility of a "battle with the enemy ... with America."
General Musavi spoke of Iran's "military planning," which included preparing for certain "scenarios," stressing that "we want to put America in its place" and that "America's military power is greatly overestimated."
Ignoring such statements could prove to be dangerous.
Mr. Stalinsky is the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.