Iran General NewsIran's Press TV accuses royal family of trying to...

Iran’s Press TV accuses royal family of trying to take it off-air in UK


The Guardian: Iranian state broadcaster claims Ofcom agreed to ‘royal family’s demands’ over calls to revoke its broadcasting licence.

Iranian state broadcaster claims Ofcom agreed to ‘royal family’s demands’ over calls to revoke its broadcasting licence

Patrick Foster

Ofcom has “succumbed to the British royal family’s demands” to revoke the broadcasting licence of the Iranian state broadcaster’s English-language outlet Press TV, the channel has claimed.

In a rambling statement posted on the Press TV website, the broadcaster said that officials at the media regulator, who were “influenced by powerful pro-Israeli politicians and US sympathisers”, had succumbed to pressure from “members of the royal family and the government” and banned the channel from the British airwaves.

Ofcom ruled in May that the channel, the overseas voice of the Tehran government, committed a serious breach of the broadcasting code when it aired an interview with Maziar Bahari, an imprisoned Newsweek journalist. Bahari, who was held for four months, says he was interviewed under duress and forced to read from a prepared script.

When it made its ruling, the regulator indicated that the transgression was so grave that it was likely to impose either a heavy fine or the termination of Press TV’s licence. Officials from the watchdog are now understood to have told the channel it has decided to pull it off the airwaves. Press TV will be allowed to submit a final appeal, before Ofcom announces its final decision in the coming weeks.

Both George Galloway, the former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, and Ken Livingstone, the Labour London mayoral candidate, have worked for Press TV, and Galloway’s show has previously been sanctioned by Ofcom for anti-Israeli bias.

The channel posted a mixture of statements and stories on its website on Friday, complaining about the decision. In one, it said: “You can even have a gay sex channel on British television and that’s no problem for David Cameron’s media regulator, Ofcom. But you can’t be a news channel that looks at the news from a different perspective to the grim, prevailing orthodoxy of Washington and London.”

While Ofcom will insist that it came under no pressure from ministers, according to the WikiLeaks cables, the Foreign Office told an American diplomat in 2010 that the government was “exploring ways to limit the operations of … Press TV”.

At the time, the department warned the US that: “UK law sets a very high standard for denying licences to broadcasters. Licences can only be denied in cases where national security is threatened, or if granting a licence would be contrary to Britain’s obligations under international law. Currently neither of these standards can be met with respect to Press TV, but if further sanctions are imposed on Iran in the coming months a case may be able to be made on the second criterion.”

An Ofcom spokesman refused to comment.

Latest news

Iran’s Regime Punishes People With Poverty To Hide Its Crime

The Iranian regime’s state-run Kayhan daily, the mouthpiece of its supreme leader Ali Khamenei, recently wrote that the regime...

Desperation and Unemployment Are Causing High Suicides Rates Among Youths in Iran

The sharp focus has recently been turned on Iran, once again, because of many bitter events. One such event...

Outcome of Iran Regime’s Corruption, High Number of Deaths in Natural Disasters

Sometimes numbers lose their mathematical meaning and become heralds of disasters. The number of 200 deaths in the village...

Iran Regime’s Oil Revenue Supports Terrorism

On August 2, John Kirby, the US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the White House, stated...

From Flash Floods to Socioeconomic Crises, Iran’s Regime Leaves Destruction in Its Wake

During the trial of Hamid Noury, one of the Iranian regime’s perpetrators in the 1988 massacre, the victims and...

Iran’s Regime Faces a Critical Infiltration Crisis

One of the main challenges faced by the Iranian regime over the past couple of years is the top-level...

Must read

Russia won’t block U.S. on Iran

Washington Post: The Bush administration, working intensely to galvanize...

Iran cleric underlines no compromise on atomic fuel

Reuters: Iran underlined its resolve on Friday to never...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you