Morsi raised eyebrows with the alleged interview on Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency by saying Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel needed to be reevaluated and calling for robust ties to Iran. But it turns out the whole interview — supposedly only hours before election results were announced — might have been faked.
The reissued Reuters story came out just after 5 p.m., nearly four full hours before Hannity’s show took the airwaves. But that didn’t stop the right-wing host from citing the disputed interview:
HANNITY: But just who is this administration relieved to have as the Egypt’s next leader? Well, for starters. He’s no ally of Israel. Morsi in the past has called Israelis, quote, “vampires and killers.”
And today in an interview with an Iranian news agency, he is quoted as saying he intends to reconsider the Camp David accord. Yet despite these outrageous comments, the White House is relieved?
Watch the video:
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi was formerly a leader, has said it would, according to the AP, “seek changes to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel without canceling it.” Furthermore, in his first speech after being declared president, Morsi announced: “We will preserve all national and international agreements” — a clear nod to the Israeli peace deal. And the White House was “relieved” not because the Muslim Brotherhood won a free election, but because last week it looked as if Egypt’s transition to democracy might be faltering under the weight of a soft-coup by transitional military leaders.
Fox News even reported hours before Hannity’s show that “a Morsi spokesman denied he did an interview with the Iranian news service who quotes Morsi promising to renew ties between the two countries.”
At RFE/RL, Golnaz Esfandiari pointed out that even fellow Iranian state media got in on the action of doubting the veracity of the Fars interview. So Hannity was duped by the Iranian propaganda even longer than the Iranian government itself.