Iran arrests journalists accused of working for "counterrevolutionary," i.e. foreign, media.

Posted: 28 Jan 2013   Print   Send a link
CNN, 28 Jan 2013, Shirzad Bozorgmehr: "Iranian authorities have arrested several journalists, including the editor-in-chief of a leading reformist newspaper, on accusations of collaborating with the regime's opponents and working for foreign news organizations. ... The [Mehr] news agency reported that it appeared that some of those detained had been working with Farsi-language counterrevolutionary media outlets. In Iran's tightly managed news industry, the term counterrevolutionary implies overseas involvement. Several prominent Western news groups run services in Farsi, the primary language in Iran, including the BBC and Voice of America."

AFP, 28 Jan 2013: "Iranian media said the office of Tehran’s prosecutor was to issue a statement on the arrests. Tehran deems as hostile the Persian services of various international media, including the BBC Persian, the Voice of America and Radio Farda -- a US-funded Prague-based Persian radio."

Bloomberg Businessweek, 28 Jan 2013, Ladane Nasseri and Yeganeh Salehi: "It isn’t unusual for Iranian authorities to crack down on the press in the period before elections. Iranians will vote on June 14 to determine who will succeed outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

@LetitiaKing, 28 Jan 2013: "Of the 11 journalists arrested in Iran accused of cooperation with foreign-based media none work for @VOA or @RFE/RL."

The Guardian, 24 Jan 2013, Saeed Kamali Dehghan: "In recent weeks, the pro-regime [Iranian] activists have set up a number of fake Facebook accounts and blogs, purporting to belong to BBC journalists or their Iranian colleagues. Web users who want to access the real BBCPersian.com, might accidentally visit its counterfeit at persianbbc.ir. The fake site mirrors the BBC's site in design and fonts but has completely different content. 'Death of Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein: fabricated stories by Washington,' reads the headline of a recent article posted on persianbbc.ir."

The Stanford Daily, 25 Jan 2013, Sadeq Saba, head of BBC Persian, as interviewed by Jamie Kim: "The BBC operates according to its editorial guideline, which has been there for decades, and BBC Persian is no different from BBC English or BBC’s other language services; we all have one editorial guideline, and according to that editorial guideline, you have to remain impartial, to remain accurate, to remain fair, objective, and report what is happening in the country. We do our best, despite the fact that we are not based in Iran, again to reflect the Iranian government’s views on our channel. We do our best. We monitor all Iranian TV channels, we monitor Iranian newspapers, and whatever they say, usually you can hear them or watch them on our television, on our radio, so we do our best, and as far as our viewers are concerned, we are probably the most important impartial news channel in Iran, and our audiences have been growing, all the time, over the last few years. Actually last year, there was a news survey done in Iran about BBC, how many people were watching BBC Persian, and that survey showed that now, within a couple of years, our viewers have actually doubled in Iran."

Huffington Post UK, 26 Jan 2013, Jenny Norton: "In a special Israeli election day edition of the BBC's popular Persian language interactive show, Nowbat-e Shoma (Your Turn), callers from Iran put questions to a panel of Persian-speaking Israelis in a BBC studio in Jerusalem. What came across clearly was that despite the deep tensions between their two governments, Iranians and Israelis actually have a surprising amount in common. 'Although the conversations got pretty heated at times, it was great that everyone put their points across politely and really engaged with each other,' says Leyla Khodabakhshi, the editor of the programme."