In reality, though, this might be the best possible moment for an uptick in Iran-focused press coverage. Crafting a coherent, tough Iran policy will be one of the great foreign-policy challenges that the next president faces. And Democratic nominee-in-waiting Barack Obama and his Republican counterpart, John McCain, have offered drastically different takes on how best to engage the Iranian regime. Given the stakes, voters should be capable of weighing this difference when they head to the ballot box in November — but if their knowledge of Iran isn’t augmented, and soon, how smart a choice are they going to be able to make?
What’s more, events of the past few days suggest that a Bush administration attack on Iran might not be as improbable as it currently seems. The aforementioned report by the IAEA, which voiced serious concern about Iran’s non-cooperation with international monitors, is a helpful addendum to the administration’s oft-stated case for military action. And as the just-published memoir by former White House press secretary Scott McClellan reminds us, once this president decided to invade Iraq, he wasn’t going to let anything stop him. If Bush has already made a similar decision about attacking Iran — and if, due to media complacency, this happens with a minimum of public debate — the press will have only itself to blame.
Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that the Wall Street Journal didn't cover Ali Larijani's election in the May 29 paper.
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