Misleading post redistributing old report on UN Atomic Energy Agency chief’s visit to Pakistan

An old report that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state with a population of 240 million people, has resurfaced in misleading online posts. The video of IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi holding up a “Breaking News” banner was originally broadcast by local news outlets in 2023. In response to the post, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the director-general had not visited the South Asian country. In March 2024.

“IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi visits Pakistan to discuss nuclear cooperation and climate change mitigation,” the caption reads. this Facebook video published on March 15, 2024.

A ‘breaking news’ report featuring the logo of local news outlet GNN shows the head of the UN nuclear agency shaking hands with the former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

The post goes on to say, “Meetings with government officials focused on strengthening cooperation in peaceful nuclear technology. Mr. Grossi will operate various nuclear facilities and designate Pakistan as an IAEA regional center for cancer treatment. I did,” he said.

“His visit ended with a dinner hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, highlighting the role of nuclear power in the fight against climate change.”

<span>Screenshot of misleading Facebook post (taken on March 21, 2024)</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/mLaGMC.bUbWgsUSjmmJwaw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTg3MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/76497e17a2d35f97ae3adf bf8c59000f” /><スパン><ボタンクラス=

Screenshot of misleading Facebook post (taken on March 21, 2024)

This video was also shared elsewhere on Facebook here, here and here

Similar misleading claims were also shared on social media platform X here and here.

In response to the misleading post, Pakistan’s foreign ministry rejected suggestions that Grossi had visited Pakistan in March this year.

“Any reports regarding the IAEA high-level delegation’s visit to Pakistan are fake news,” the ministry said in a statement. statement March 15, 2024 (archived links).

“Currently, no IAEA officials have visited Pakistan and there are no policy discussions scheduled with the IAEA in the near future. The IAEA Director-General visited Pakistan in February 2023.”

old news clips

A keyword search on YouTube revealed that the video shared in the post was originally published here On GNN’s official channel on February 15, 2023 (archived links).

Its caption read, “FM Bilawal Bhutto meets DG (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi | Breaking News | GNN.”

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the South Asian country’s foreign ministry secretary when Grossi visited Pakistan.

Below is a screenshot comparison of a video from one of the misleading posts (left) and a video published by GNN in 2023 (right).

<span>Comparison of screenshots of the misleading post (left) and the original YouTube video (right): </span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Syl5PJQkxGXWh3t2wx02gA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTM0Ng–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/dc16005b70a4717 fa2ba0a803618c081″/><スパン><ボタンクラス=

Comparison of screenshots of the misleading post (left) and the original YouTube video (right):

According to the IAEA, Mr. Grossi: Discussed Together with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, he spoke about how nuclear science can help mitigate the worsening effects of climate change in Pakistan. The agency said in a February 16, 2023 press release that he also visited nuclear facilities across the country (archived links).

According to reports, during the week of March 2024 when the misleading post circulated, Grossi was in Japan meeting with various leaders regarding the release of treated water from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Ta. this IAEA report (archived links).

Immediately after the misleading post circulated online, Pakistan’s foreign minister said: Ishak Dar –He has held the position since March 11, 2024. –Pakistan’s Associated Press spoke with Grossi on the sidelines of the Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels. report (Archived link here and here).

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