Iran has revoked the press credentials for Reuters reporters in Tehran, the news organization announced Thursday, after Iranian state television said a group of Iranian female "ninjas" was suing the outlet. The women took issue with a Reuters headline "Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran's assassins," saying the word "assassins" defamed them and misrepresented their purpose, as they were actually just training as athletes. Reuters had quickly changed the headline and has since apparently pulled the story. Now Reuters reports its own lost accreditation:
"We acknowledge this error occurred and regard it as a very serious matter. It was promptly corrected the same day it came to our attention," said editor-in-chief Stephen J. Adler.
"In addition, we have conducted an internal review and have taken appropriate steps to prevent a recurrence," he said.
The Atlantic's Max Fisher wrote Thursday morning that the suit neatly represented the misunderstandings both Iranians and Americans have about one another: Specifically, "the Iranian belief that Westerners maliciously distort Iran to make its people seem like murderous cave-dwellers, and the Western belief that Iranians are angrily and violently anti-Western. Believe it or not, sometimes Iranian people do things for reasons other than hatred of the West," he writes.
We'll add to that list of misunderstandings our initial surprise that Iranian authorities would come to the aid of a group of female ninjas by revoking the press accreditation. After all, their athletic endeavors as women seem somewhat subversive. But then, the women are suing a Western news outlet. And as they say about the enemy of your enemy...