In their coverage of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s speech on Saturday during which he made his first public comments on the agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, major media outlets either intentionally or inadvertently failed to mention that the top Iranian figure was holding a rifle at the podium.
In video of the speech posted by Iran’s PressTV, the firearm was visible in his left hand at 8:51, 12:05 and 18:20. Toward the end of the speech, the gun was leaned against the podium – as seen at 26:50 and 27:40.
To drive home the point, the supreme leader’s official website posted a close up photo captured from beside the podium of the gun which even showed the magazine jutting out.
Some journalists made efforts to include expert opinion in their articles, offering analysis of Khamenei’s words (“to pacify” or “quiet” hardliners); others pointed out that it was “carried live by state television” and noted that the speech was given after holiday prayers marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, offering atmospheric color.
But the most potent sign of all reflecting his message – the gun balanced under his left hand holding his speech notes – was left unmentioned.
It’s unlikely that if the speech had been given by an American or any Western politician that this scene setting detail would have been overlooked, especially given the hotly debated issue of guns.
Read more: The Blaze