MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The embassy of Bahrain spread via several Arabic and Russian media outlets false information that Sputnik news agency misrepresented the words of Bahrain’s Ambassador to Russia Ahmed Saati in the article dated July 25 that appeared on Sputniknews.com website.
The embassy says that Saati did not say that Iran's attempts to destabilize the situation in Bahrain had stopped. The agency is publishing the English language audio recording of the interview with the ambassador on the website, in which it is clearly audible that the ambassador, when speaking about such attempts, says the following: "And now I think it is over, after we cut the relationship, diplomatic relations with Iran and we stopped direct flights to Iran, and it is reduced, almost is finished but still they are working secretly undercover."
After the Sputnik website published a piece titled "Iran’s Attempts to Weaken Bahrain Stopped When Diplomatic Ties Cut – Ambassador," the embassy requested that the agency change the story and emphasize that the interference attempts continued despite the severance of diplomatic ties. Seeing as both themes are present in ambassador’s phrase – both that the attempts stopped, and that Iran continues acting in secret – the Sputnik news agency decided to make a different emphasis in its headline to give a clearer picture to its readers of what the ambassador was trying to say (the updated headline reads "Bahrain Ambassador Says Iran Destabilizing Attempts Continue After Ties Rupture").
The agency did not publish statements which Mr Saati did not say. Moreover, the agency has correspondence with the ambassador via the WhatsApp messenger application on finalization and approval of the quote (which is allowed by the law on media in case of interviews), in which the ambassador himself confirms the accuracy of the quote used by the agency.
Despite this, the embassy disseminated false information, which was published by Russian and Arabic media outlets without even asking the Sputnik agency for a comment, which would have corresponded to professional standards of journalism.