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Confusion in Iran over BBC broadcasts

Tensions between the ‘West’ and Iran are easing, with the Iranian government seemingly ready to do business now that the tough economic restrictions on Iran are re-opening the country for trade. But any opening up does not – seemingly – include the BBC’s local transmissions to the country.

On August 20th it was reported that while Iran is happy for CNN and the BBC World Service to broadcast over and from Iran, the Islamic Republic News Agency (INRA) states that BBC Persian has no licence to operate.

“The operations of BBC Persian are prohibited [in Iran], however there is no ban on activities of BBC World Service and CNN,” Deputy Foreign Minister for Parliamentarian Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said at a gathering of students in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, and reported on the INRA web-site.

Hassan Qashqavi then added that the law based on the order of Supreme National Security Council has disallowed Persian [Farsi] language services of these TV satellite [broadcasters], whether BBC or others, as those “are not impartial”.

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