The BBC’s interpretation of the Blair speech is that Blair is cool on talks with Iran/Syria – that Blair doesn’t want talks at any cost.
But most other news organisations took from the speech that Blair is pushing for talks. (CNN/Al Jazeera/Al Arabiyah/Al Alam/The Guardian/The Independent).
So who is right?
Well, both. It is certainly true that Blair is pushing for talks, and taking advantage of the new situation in the US.
But the threats flowed thick and fast. Hizbollah was labelled as a terror organisation (stop supporting terrorism in Lebanon was the phrase, in a warning to Iran). It’s not an offer of talks, but a demand for action on Iraq/Lebanon – face the consequences of isolation if you don’t, was Blair’s alternative.
‘Blair pushing for talks’ is the headline we knew we could use for this speech. ‘Blair cool on talks’ is the headline you might choose if you actually listen to the speech.