CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour spoke with Iranian vice president for women and global affairs Massoumeh Ebtekar on Tuesday but failed to mention Ebtekar played a key role in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
Amanpour began by asking Ebtekar if Iran would “respond” to American calls for de-escalation, and critics didn't appreciate her lengthy answer.
“Ebtekar took that question and offered a long-winded answer that gushed over CNN showing ‘millions who are marching in support and in commemoration of...the Commander of the Hearts’ against the Americans having ‘taken a terrorist action’ in ‘assassinat[ing]’ Soleimani,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck wrote.
Houck also noted that Amanpour “failed to note to viewers that [Ebtekar] was a spokeswoman for the 1979 hostage-takers during the Iranian revolution that seized 52 Americans.”
A spokesperson for CNN International did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian militants seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took 52 American diplomats as hostages. They were held captive for 444 days and the crisis is widely considered a major point of departure for traditional diplomacy between the nations.
Back in 1988, The New York Times reported that Ebtekar “was the official interpreter and spokeswoman of the militants who occupied the American Embassy in Teheran” because of her ability to speak English.
Reporter M. Hanif Jazayeri circulated decades-old footage on Tuesday of Ebtekar declaring she would kill Americans if needed back in 1979 at the height of the crisis.
A reporter is heard asking, “Could you personally lift up a gun and put it to the head of one of these people and kill him?”
Ebtekar simply responded, “Yes.”
President Trump recently tweeted that he identified 52 Iranian sites to hit if Iran attacks Americans or U.S. assets, representing the 52 Americans who were held while Ebtekar was working with the hostage-takers.
During the interview with Amanpour, Ebtekar also called the killing of Soleimani a “terrible assassination.”
In April 2019, the State Department announced Iran was responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during the Iraq War. Soleimani was the head of the Iranian and Iranian-backed forces carrying out those operations. According to the State Department, Soleimani orchestrated some 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. Despite that history, several prominent Democrats and liberal media members have condemned Trump for ordering the drone strike that killed him.
Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this report.