To U.S. papers, Iranian weapons are far more newsworthy than those made in the U.S.

by Gregory Shupak, FAIR

Russia’s use of Iranian-made drones in the Ukraine war has garnered substantial attention in flagship US news outlets like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. These papers’ first references to the matter came on July 11. Between then and the time of writing (January 24), the publications have run 215 pieces that mention Ukraine and the words “Iranian drones,” “Iranian-made drones,” “drones made in Iran” or minor variations on these phrases. That’s more than one mention per day over six-and-a-half months.

The fact that some of Russia’s drones are made in Iran is not only frequently mentioned, but is often featured in headlines like “Iran to Send Hundreds of Drones to Russia for Use in Ukraine, US Says” (Washington Post, 7/11/22), “Ukraine Warns of Growing Attacks by Drones Iran Has Supplied to Russia” (New York Times, 9/25/22) and “Russia’s Iranian Drones Pose Growing Threat to Ukraine” (Wall Street Journal, 10/18/22).

A serviceman holds an anti-drone rifle in Ukraine

Drones are, of course, just one type of weapons export among many, and US-made armaments have not received similar coverage when they are implicated in the slaughter of innocents.

One example is Israel’s May 10–21, 2021, bombing of Gaza. According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Israeli military killed approximately 245 Palestinians, including 63 children, and “totally destroyed or severely damaged” more than 2,000 housing units:

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