But by employing such propaganda devices and spinning Ahmadinejad’s remarks in such a manner, Western media accounts manage to portray Iran as a nation deliberately flaunting its designs on obtaining a nuclear weapon and directly threatening Israel with the possibility of a nuclear attack.

It was through the use of not dissimilar propaganda devices that the U.S. mainstream corporate media managed to convince as much as 70 percent of the American public prior to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein was involved in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responded to Iran’s missile test by saying that “In terms of strategic importance, this new missile test doesn’t change anything for us since the Iranians already tested a missile with a range of 1,500 kilometers, but it should worry the Europeans”.

“If anybody had a doubt, it is clear the Iranians are playing with fire”, he said.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported last week that Israel had agreed with the U.S. not to launch military strikes against Iran without giving the Obama administration advance notice of its intentions.

The U.S. has cited the alleged threat from Iran to justify a missile defense system in Europe that has antagonized Russia. A joint analysis by U.S. and Russian scientists, however, concluded that the system “would be ineffective against the kinds of missiles Iran is likely to deploy,” according to the Washington Post’s report on their analysis.

“The missile threat from Iran to Europe is thus not imminent,” the Post quoted the report as saying on Tuesday.

That’s quite the understatement. “And if Iran attempted such an attack, the experts say, it would ensure its own destruction”, the Post also noted.

Throughout the entire debate over the missile defense system, the question of why Iran would ever launch missile strikes against Europe has never been satisfactorily addressed, and the claim that it is designed to deter Iran, rather than that it is designed to contain Russia, as Russia itself fears, is difficult to take seriously.

The New York Times’ report on Iran’s launch asserted that it added “to concerns that Iran’s weapons-development program is fast outpacing the American-led diplomacy that President Obama has said he will let play out through the end of the year.”

The Times quoted the Obama administration’s top official for arms control and security, Gary Samore, who has been labeled by the media as Obama’s “weapons of mass destruction ‘czar'”, as expressing his hope that the administration “‘will be able to capitalize on this launch to strengthen our case’ on the dangers of Iran’s nuclear program.”

But the most blatant piece of propaganda in the Times‘ account followed its observation that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Iran has made progress on two of three technologies necessary to build a nuclear weapon.

“The first”, the Times states, “is enriching uranium to weapons grade, now under way at the large nuclear complex at Natanz.”

This statement goes beyond the boundaries of deceptive spin into the realm of outright lying. The IAEA, as already noted, has verified that Iran is enriching only low-grade uranium at Natanz, not weapons grade uranium as falsely claimed here by the Times.

Iran’s uranium has been enriched to less than 5 percent U-235, whereas it is necessary to enrich uranium to consist of 90 percent or more of the U-235 isotope in order to be able to produce a nuclear weapon.

“The second”, the Times continued, “is developing a missile capable of reaching Israel and parts of Western Europe,” again implying that Iran’s Sejil-2 missile might be related to nuclear weapons development.

The third technology is warhead design, which is the “greatest mystery” about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, according to the Times, which added, “Asked Wednesday whether he had seen additional evidence to indicate that the weaponization program had been restarted, Mr. Samore declined to comment.”

By using the adjective “additional”, the Times asserted as fact that there is evidence Iran had been working on a warhead design until 2003, when, according to a 2007 CIA National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iran halted its work on weaponization.

But the actual evidence supposedly backing this assessment has never been made public. The source for this claim is apparently a laptop computer that was obtained by U.S. intelligence that allegedly belonged to an Iranian scientist and contained documents showing Iran’s work on technology related to weaponization.

Only a select number of these documents have been handed over to the IAEA, which refers to them in its reports as “the alleged studies” and which has so far been unable to verify their authenticity. Iran claims that the documents are forgeries.

The U.S. used fabricated documents during the run-up to the Iraq war in an effort to bolster its claim that Saddam Hussein had attempted to obtain yellowcake uranium from Africa.

The Times fails to discern between an assessment and actual evidence, a mistake it should have learned after its atrocious reporting prior to the invasion of Iraq, when it helped to propagate false claims about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

In that case, intelligence estimates similarly claimed that Iraq possessed WMD, but such assessments were not backed by any credible evidence and the CIA was forced to acknowledge after the invasion that Iraq had unilaterally destroyed its undeclared WMD in 1991.