Amir Taheri

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Amir Taheri, an Iranian-born journalist, was educated in Tehran, London and Paris. [1] A "prominent Iranian journalist under the Shah", Taheri "now advocates regime change in Iran. [2]. As of 2013, Taheri is writing for Majalla [3] a publication owned by the Saudi Research and Publishing Company (SRPC).

A Faked Report on Iran

"A Colour Code for Iran's Infidels" written by Taheri, a "prominent U.S. neo-conservative" [4], was published May 19, 2006, by Canada's National Post. The story "regarding new legislation in Iran allegedly requiring Jews and other religious minorities to wear distinctive colour badges circulated around the world this weekend before it was exposed as false," Jim Lobe wrote May 22, 2006, for Inter Press Service.

"The National Post retracted the article hours after it was posted to their site, and blamed Taheri for the bad info." [5] Eleana Benador later admitted that her PR firm, Benador Associates, had planted the false story. Reporting on the controversy, Larry Cohler-Esses wrote in The Nation: [6]

Benador, who said her client [Amir Taheri] was "traveling in the Middle East," was impatient with dissections of his work. Terming accuracy with regard to Iran "a luxury," she said, "My major concern is the large picture. Is Taheri writing one or two details that are not accurate? This is a guy who is putting his life at stake." She noted that "the Iranian government has killed its opponents." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "says he wants to destroy Israel. He says the Holocaust never happened.... As much as being accurate is important, in the end it's important to side with what's right. What's wrong is siding with the terrorists."
Taheri might seem to be one of Benador's biggest liabilities. In fact, he is right now the agency's proudest coup. On May 30--just days after the National Post's apology for running his false story on Iranian Jews--Taheri was one of a group of "Iraq experts" brought to the White House to consult with George W. Bush on the disastrous situation there.

Taheri's Reports

Other Debunked Taheri Claims

Taheri's 1989 book, Nest of Spies, was debunked for citing "nonexistent sources," fabricating "nonexistent substance in cases where the sources existed," and distorting the facts "beyond recognition," wrote Larry Cohler-Esses in The Nation. The book described the rule and fall of the Shah in Iran. [7]

In 2005, Taheri claimed that Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Javad Zarif, had taken part in the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. "This allegation is false," San Francisco State University professor Dwight Simpson wrote to the New York Post (which had published a Taheri column making the claim). "On November 4, 1979 [the day of the seizure], Javad Zarif was in San Francisco. He was then a graduate student in the Department of International Relations of San Francisco State University. He was my student, and he served also as my teaching assistant." [8]

Professional Chronology

According to his Benador Associates' profile, Taheri was/has been:

  • Middle East editor for the London Sunday Times (between 1980 and 1984).
  • Writer for the daily Times.
  • Contributor to The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and the Daily Mail among other leading British publications.
  • Executive editor-in-chief of Kayhan, Iran's main daily newspaper (between 1972-1979).
  • Columnist for the pan-Arab daily Asharq Alawsat and its sister daily Arab News (since 1987).
  • Contributor to the International Herald Tribune (since 1980).
  • Writer for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and The Washington Post.
  • Editorial writer for the German daily Die Welt (between 1989 and 1995).
  • Writer "for other publications including Der Spiegel, Die Zeit and Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung in Germany, La Repubblica in Italy, L'Express, Politique Internationale and Le Nouvel Observateur in France, and El Mundo in Spain."
  • Current contributor to the German weekly Focus.


  • editor of Politique Internationale, a French Quarterly (source)

External links


Articles & Commentary