I hope I am wrong

The view on BBC Persian TV from the outset isn't promising


I hope I am wrong
by Omid H

After about 70 years in existence, the BBC Persian Service is naturally a household name in Iran. In a move calculated to expand its reach in the Islamic Republic, BBC Persian has ventured into television. Launch is just weeks away. (video: Promo) (news: BBC receives £70m funding increase)

Though satellite television is illegal in Iran, more than half its urban dwellers have access to satellite television by some estimates. Over the past few years, the number of Persian-language satellite stations has continued to grow. At last count, there were about 50 stations, most of which are based in Los Angeles, home to the largest Iranian expat community.

BBC Persian Television will be a much welcome addition. The quality of Persian-language satellite programs are generally very poor. Still they have a large audience in Iran because the younger generation tunes in for Western music programs and to hear the latest Iranian pop music that is illegal in Iran.

Other than music, much of the political or even social programming offered by these stations do not appear to be taken very seriously by many people, especially the youth. Still, from time to time, officials enforce the ban and take down people's satellite dishes and haul the owners to court. Just as authorities filter Websites -- including the BBC's -- they scramble programs and it will be interesting to see how the BBC deals with that.

The launch of BBC Persian Television should have a major effect on the state of television culture in Iran in general. In the absence of independent television on the one hand, and amateur-level programming from the stations abroad on the other, many will refer to the BBC for news and other information.

Because the bar is so low, the BBC will not have to work hard to look good. But I hope the powers that be will make use of their basket full of resources to put out a product that will live up the BBC brand name. I hope they just don't attempt to get by, because they know they can get away with it. As noted, they don't have much competition, and not many outside of the BBC Persian Service division speak Persian to gauge the quality of their programs.

The view from the outset isn't promising. Stories and rumors circulating around for the past few months have called into question its recruiting and hiring methods and decisions, the background and experience of those they have chosen to fill the top TV posts, even the neutrality of its politics. I certainly hope I am wrong in seeing it that way and I hope that my own experience isn't a harbinger of things to come.

I wrote a critique of a training video the BBC put out recently. It was published on the Radio Zamaneh website. I got quite an earful about it. This article was the most-read on the site. There were more than 100 hits just from the BBC alone. Among the 30 comments, and emails to me, many came out in the defense of the organization that signs their checks. I was criticized for making a judgment about the quality of BBC TV so early on in the process, for being too harsh and bitter in tone, and even accused me of a personal vendetta...

Still I don't know how that can be the case. First of all, in order to make sure I hadn't written anything that could be construed as offensive to my former colleagues, I reviewed my final draft a few times -- to little avail apparently.

Secondly, I was writing about the technical aspects of a video -- a training video. Whether it's a Ridley Scott film, or a BBC video, I am a critic. That's what I do. I have been writing about media and cinema for 18 years. There were at least 11 obvious flaws in the short nine-minute span of this clip. Given all their resources, I thought it fell short. One expects a lot more from the BBC, one that sets out to train others in the profession. And this was just my point of view on the technical aspect of it. What would happen if I started to comment on the content of their work?

Citing copyright infringement, the BBC contacted Radio Zamaneh and had them take down seven screen shots I had used from the training video to illustrate my point. During the time I worked there, this had never happened. I asked friends at the BBC World Service and they were more or less of the opinion that I had not violated copyright law. I am still waiting to hear back from their legal department.


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Regime change

by Billie Southard (not verified) on

I'm American and have come to understand that most of you Persians do not like your president. But, alas, at your last election, many of your people boycotted the election and the one who most of you did not like got elected. At least another election will be coming up this year.
I want you to know that many Americans love Iran but we all have these politicians who are only interested in their own interests, in all countries. And there are others who are frightened by Ahmedinijad wild rantings and so fear Iran. Its like back when whites were afraid of blacks. Fear is what rules in lots of people's hearts. And fear causes hate.
Personally, I'm more afraid of China and Russia than Iran. And when you change your leader I don't think that people will fear you anymore. I wish you peace for your country and for our countries to get along. I wish you freedom and independence.


Deer Ya Zood dare vali Sughet to Suz na!

by Rooh e Mosadeq (not verified) on

I would love to write in most beatiful language in the world,Persian, but afsoos my keyboard is latin!

Dear Friends, I am delighted to see that Rah va Khoone Shahyidane Vatan havent been wasted....

Mosadeq ha ,Amir Kabir ha ,Shariati ha,Takhti ha,Mirza Koochak ha va millionha javani ke be paye iin Khak khoon hedyeh kardand namordeand va hargez nakhahand mord...

Rahetan payendeh...


Dear Inquiring minds, hamvatan-e aziz

by Behrooz (not verified) on

Thank you for the correction and your reasonable question.

With regards to this question on why should they (The West) want to change the regime in Iran. I can answer for the same reason that they got rid of Saddam.

Do not forget that Saddam was also a very profitable agent for them. In fact for a long period he was their best friend and most profitable agent. Who kept the price of oil down and kept buying a lot of weapons from them. Even in invading Kuwait he was only following orders and creating loads of contract and further profits for the West.

However as we all observed the policies and priorities of US in particular and The West in general changed and they decided to reorder their game pieces in the region.

To understand this policy one needs to do a bit of study in the post colonialism attitudes and foreign policy of these powers, especially in the past century and after WWII.

The fact of the matter is that although the foreign policy of these countries is toward short-term profit and cheap access to world energy recourses, the detail of these policies won’t necessarily stay the same. Although they have many allied, agents and servants within the dictator governments of Middle East but they have never shown any loyalty towards these servants. Also another factor that contributes immensely in the decisions of who to keep and who to betray is the state of the world’s energy supply, balance of power between different powers( such as US, Europe, Russia an China) and geopolitical and economic situations of the time.

At the end of the day the only thing these countries are looking for is profit and money. Sometimes they can make it at the time of war and mayhem via cheap oil and expensive weapons and on other occasions they can make money in relative calm and fat contracts, by selling other goods and services like rebuilding Iraq, Afghanistan and in future Iran.

At the moment US have enough war on its hand and IRI has became arrogant enough to create many obstacles in the path of us aims in Iraq Afghanistan and of course by upsetting Israel with its support for Hamas and Hezbollah. In a way IRI has become more of a liability than an asset.

Please note that by explaining the above fact I am not trying in any way legitimise or glorify this sort of behaviour by US, UK and the others. I am merely stating the fact as it is.
This is how the suppressing big powers operate and that is why they are super powers. No realistic person can expect them to behave differently.

However we as Iranian have to be alert and try to guard our own country and national interests from being exploited by these powerful players and their agents. That is why it is essential for each and every Iranian to understand the way this machine operates, find it weaknesses and vulnerabilities and ultimately try to stop it from achieving its goals in our own country. In order to do this we need to accept our responsibility anywhere in the world to contribute toward the progress of our country and opening the minds of our younger generation to the dangers that are lingering round the corner and could threaten their future in the world. We need to be realistic and understand that to achieve anything in this world one has to pay a price and the higher the goal naturally means the higher the price. We need to be honest with our selves and accept our mistakes of the past instead on trying to escape the responsibility or coming up with pathetic excuses.

We need to learn that no other person or country in the world could care about us more than they do about their own interest and profit. It is only we who could and should be able to change fortune of this country and its people, and that could not be done but by accepting responsibility, making sacrifices, taking our future in our hand and most of all learning this very basic fact that :

There is no such thing as a free lunch


همین یکی دو صدا

امیر کبیر هدفش دفع حکومت اثنی عشری و مبارزه با دود تریاک (not verified)

بسم الله الرحمن رحیم
خدای را سپاس که بعد از سی سال از گذشت حکومت اثنی عشری و رهن نود ساله مام وطن و نفت و گاز و مس و نقره ایران با دخالت مستقیم و میانجیگری امام زمان و نایب بلاعوض ایشان یعنی سفیر انگلیس در ایران، اکنون اندک اندک افرادی وطنپرست بجمع ما پیوسته و نمیگذارند صدای ما در ته چاه سیاه جمکران با سرکوب و لگد اجانب خفه شود.

باشد تا با کوشش و از خودگذشتگی مردان و زنان دانای ایران ظرف همین پنجاه سال آینده جسد فاسد این عجوزه تاریخ دولت انگلیس را از خاک وطن بیرون کنیم و پنجاه سال بعدی را صرف بازسازی این خانه مخروبه وطن نمائیم و باری دیگر فرصت دهیم تا فرزندان ایران استوار بروی پای خود بایستند و بر ایرانی بودن خود افتخار کنند.

فراموش نفرمائید که با رفتن حکومت اثنی عشری، انگلستان یک حکومت نیمه میلیشیائی بر کار خواهد نهاد که عناصر آن همان نظر کرده های ولی عصر و نایب السلطنه اش یعنی آخوندهای پیرو خط الیزابت در زمین خواهد بود. لذا وطن پرستان آگاه اول باید اساس پاکسازی مملکت را بدست گیرند و نگذارند باری دیگر انگلیس موفق به پیاده کردن برنامه های خود بشود:

1- بیرون کردن تمام اتباع انگلیس از ایران برای پنجاه سال و بلکه بیشتر
2- با در نظر گرفتن شعائر دینی و بدون هیچ توهینی، نبش قبر کردن خمینی و بسته بندی کردن جسد او و ارسال به کشور مادریش هندوستان و اگر هندوستان نپذیرفت (که مطمئنا نخواهد) ارسال آن به عراق که این مسئله امام سازی و معجزات آنها تا حدودی تحت کنترل قرار گیرد و تبدیل آرامگاه فعلی او به سفارت آینده انگلستان. یعنی زمین خیابان فردوسی را پس میگیریم و بقول مرحوم پیکان، با زمین مسگرآباد "تاخت" میزنیم.

3- جمع آوری کلیه امامزاده ها در سراسر کشور و تبدیل آنها به کتابخانه عمومی.

اگر در ابتدای کار این چند تا کار کوچک انجام شود آغاز نوینی است برای بازپسگرفتن زمام امور کشور ایران. لازم به تذکر است که تکلیف روسیه و چین را بعدا معلوم خواهیم کرد و لی در ابتدای کار بسیار مهم است که ما مراتب دوستی و مودت خود را با دنیای عرب و مردم بیگناه اسرائیل از سر گیریم که شما مطمئن باشید بدون دوستی ما با مردم منطقه، ایران هرگز روی آزادی را نخواهد دید. ولی کشور روس بخاطر ادامه توطئه در ایران و حمایت از نایب امام زمان و خط مشی انگلیس باید سزای اعمال خودرا بموقع دریافت نماید که شرایط آنهم در دست اقدام است.

از خداوند برای شما و مردم شجاع ایران آرزوی موفقیت دارم.

چهاردهم ژانویه
فین کاشان


To Behrooz jan

by Inquiring minds (not verified) on

They say salaam roostayee bi tama' nist but of course Gorg is more appropriate for those naughty Brits!!

Well I know BBC has tried consistenlty since 1979 not to do anyhting to offend mullahs in the least bit, that is why I had my doubts when they chose clean-shaven men with neckties and bleached blond women with make-up and no headscarves to be anchors!!! but with Brits noone can tell 'cuz they usually outsmart the smartest!

and secondly, I don't know why they would even want to consider a regime change in Iran in the first place! The IR has been the best thing that has ever happend for the West! It creatss conflicts whenever they want, deliberately bankrupts Iran's own domestic industries by importing stuff such as tea, etc. as much as it could from all over the world , therefore returning the oil revenue right back into Western, Chinese and Russian pockets!!

Iran's markets have been saturated with Chinese made products much cheaper than domestically produced products if any!!

I am no economist but for the life of me, why would they ever wanna change this profit-making regime that they planned for years to bring to power?!!


So Refreshing

by Behrooz (not verified) on

It is so nice and refreshing to see that 30 years after the first conspiracy and deception, we the Iranians and specially our young generation have finally learned the lessons of the past and began to realize the basic fact that

Salaam e gorg bi tama nist

Now for those of you who want to know about the reason behind BBC Persian service and specially the timing of it. This is my humble opinion which by the way was formed after 20 years of study and observation

The fact of the matter is that in order to stop steady progress or accumulation of power, every 30 years or so there is a regime change in most third world countries, specially oil rich Middle East. The bottom line is that the lease of IRI and mullahs on ruling Iran is closing to an end and despite all their efforts of negotiations, bribes and threats the world and especially the US is not willing to renew it. For those of us who are in close contact with inside people Iran and even have connections within the regime infrastructure, it is now becoming more and more obvious that within the next 20 to 30 months there is going to be a regime change in Iran one way or another and you can mark my words on it

The fact is that for most of us who are old enough to remember 1979, we can still remember vividly the role of BBC in that revolution as the sole source of news for most Iranians and its bias support for the elements of the revolution specially Mr Khomeini and his associates like Mr Yazdi and Mr Babisadr .

At the moment as one of the previous commentators have mentioned UK is in its worst recession in recorded history and I can confirm that as I do live in UK. They desperately need a stimulus to jump start economy and create jobs by boosting the exports and service industry. Furthermore the UK was not able to get a considerable stake in the rebuilding of Iraq so it needs to look else where.

On the other hand given ruin state that Iran is in at the moment and the desperate need for investment in countries infrastructure and rebuilding it from ground up, the next government who ever they might be, have an enormous task on its hands for reviving the country in all fronts, from economy to military to rebuilding cities factories, refineries and so on and so forth. That means lots of potentially fat contracts for many foreign companies who are at the moment struggling even to survive day by day. This in terms means loads of money to boost the economy of their host countries. So who ever manages to get closer to the opposition would be better positioned to lobby the next government for these contracts.

However as we all know after the 1979 revolution the BBC and British generally do not have a good reputation between the opposition and even ordinary Iranian as most of them believe that it had a major rule in pumping Khomeini’s propaganda into Iran while after the revolution and specially and the time of the massacre in IRI’s prisons BBC and British government chose to stay quiet and close their eyes. That’s why most Iranians even regard IRI and mullahs as British agents (Nokars).

Also in the past few years BBC took an unjust and bias position in favour of Arab states at south of Persian Gulf and took this arrogance (gostakhi) to new level, as far as allowing itself to attempt in breaking international laws by trying to change the 3000 years old name of Persian Gulf and doing so it deliberately tried to create friction and conflicting so that by souring the relation and deteriorating cooperation between these states British would be able to bring the price of oil down and boost its sale of weapons. However People of Iran have not forgotten or forgiven this insult.

What you see now is a swift attempt by the British and BBC as their mouth piece to cover their own tracks and win favour with the next lot. To me personally it would be interesting to see what name will the BBC correspondents use with regards to Persian Gulf.

However having said all that I believe that as Iranians we need to be alert and try to take our future in our own hands. It is also helpful to take what ever comes out of such media sources as BBC, VOA and others with a pinch of salt and try to do our own investigation into the mater

Just ask yourself this question:



BBC TV not good for IRI's Security

by FYI (not verified) on

چهارشنبه، 25 دی ماه 1387 برابر با 2009 Wednesday 14 January
اژه ای: تلويزيون بی بی سی برای امنيت کشور مناسب نيست
ایرنا: غلامحسين محسني اژه اي روز چهارشنبه در پايان جلسه هيات دولت در جمع خبرنگاران درباره دستگيري عوامل توطئه براندازي نرم اظهار داشت: وزارت اطلاعات به موقع نسبت به شناسايي و دستگيري اين عوامل اقدام کرد و حکم اين افراد نيز به زودي صادر خواهد شد.

وزير اطلاعات با بيان اينکه "روشن شدن جزئيات دستگيري اين افراد ضرورت ندارد"، متذکر شد: مهم اين است که همه دستگاه ها هشيار هستند و هر وقت نياز باشد در زمينه شناسايي و يا دستگيري عوامل جاسوسي اقدام لازم انجام مي شود.

محسني اژه اي درپاسخ به سوالي در خصوص دستگيري ديگر عوامل جاسوسي در کشور گفت: ضرورت ندارد همه عوامل جاسوسي دستگير شوند بلکه بايد ابتدا مورد شناسايي قرار گيرند و هر وقت لازم شد دستگير شوند .

وزير اطلاعات همچنین تلويزيون فارسي بي.بي.سي را براي امنيت کشور مناسب ندانست و گفت هر‌‏کار غير قانوني که بخواهد صورت گيرد که ظاهر آن تحت پوشش کار به ظاهر قانوني ،‌‏اما بر خلاف مصالح و امنيت کشور باشد وزارت اطلاعات وارد مي‌‏شود.

Nader Vanaki

Eivaal Amirkabir ke migooyad...etc.

by Nader Vanaki on

You have nailed it but you hammered in too far. I will discourse with your english dictation in the next paragraph but let me point OmidH and you out to a major counter weight to BBC Persian which is VOA that has set the quality standard in broadcasting for the vatani community abroad and in Iran. 

How come your english translation is so bland?  You could have spiced it up a bit. piaz daghesh cam bood.


NO to BBC tv

by PERSIAN DUDE (not verified) on

can any one remember 53 or 79. the bbc played a part. should we trust them, mmmm NO!
britain is a recession and the bbc is funded through by tax payers money but however, they are spending it on 'helping' iranians. is this not suspicions.


Omid H

BBC PTV live Online

by Omid H on

Watch BBC PTV Live Online!


Media Researcher



Iroooni Be Aware

by Rooh e Mosadeq (not verified) on

Every 30 Years there has been a programme to destabilise the region and create an enemy to sell arms to stupid nations of Middle Easterns and steal their natural resources (Oil,Gas and Minerals etc) in return for those arms...


in Uk there has been a toughest recession after second world war and the unemployment is at highest! do you believe they are trying to do us a favour and inform Iroonians through their BBC! if you think so go and read about MOSADEQ, SHARIATI, TAKHTI, AMIR KABIR, MIRZA KOOCHACK KHAN JANGALI VA VA VA...


It was not 3 day, read my critic plz!

by Omid Media (not verified) on

Hi dostan, I have not changed my mind, I am media critic, hope you can read the persian stories on Zamaneh, so you can find out what was happend!

BTW that was not 3 days, I jsut put them here a little late! but time is not very important!


That was a quick turnaround!

by farrad02 on

You were so complimentary in your last review. Now that they have threatened you and put the fear of God (I mean the Queen) in you, you've changed your whole attitude about the new TV service! Make up your mind Babam Jan! Didn't Mash Ghassem warn you?


دیدی حالا

امیر کبیر میگوید تو دیگر از دشمن تعریف نکن (not verified)

آخه برادر و یا خواهر: مگر کار و زندگی بهتر از این نداری که بیائی و مجیز رادیو و تلویزیون اجنبی را بکشی؟ بعد هم بقول خودت آمدند اخطار دادند به رادیو زمانه! یعنی اگر جرات داری از بی بی سی بد بگو تا دولت انگلیس پاسپورت ایرانی ات را باطل کند و دیگر نتوانی بروی ایران و سلطانی بخوری و حشیش ارزان گیر بیاوری.و تا آخر عمر مجبور شوی در آن کشور فساد، انگلیس بقیت عمر را به دریوزگی بی بی سی بگذرانی.

آخر این ملت سورچی ایرانی که فقط فکر پارتی رفتن، نهار مفت خوردن و رقصیدن است، باید از خودش سوال کند که چه دلیلی دارد که جاکشی چون دولت انگلیس که سالهاست خون ملت ایران را در شیشه کرده است بیاید و برای ایرانیان برنامه جالب تلویزیونی ارائه دهد؟

یکبار دیگر سئوال میکنم برای آن ابلهانی که اکنون تمام تنشان میخوارد که بیایند و زرزر کنند که ما خط مشی دائیجان را پیروی میکنیم، لذا یکبار دیگر تکرار میکنم:

چه دلیلی دارد که جاکشی چون دولت انگلیس که سالهاست خون ملت ایران را در شیشه کرده است بیاید و برای ایرانیان برنامه جالب تلویزیونی ارائه دهد؟

پیش خودتان حتما میگوئید خوب برای اینکه میدانند ما ملت عرب نیستیم و قیافه مان شبیه اروپائی هاست و ضمنا میدانند که مااهل رقصهای تند غربی هستیم! خوب اگر دلیلت اینست که ای خاک بر سرت.

بی بی سی نفت تو را میخواهد، همان گاز مفتی را میخواهد که در این سرمای زمستان اروپای شرقی بخاطر کمبود آن به زانو در آمده است. انگلیس خواهر مادر ملت ایران را میخواهد که بروند و درفروشگاههای آن مملکت همجنس بازان انگلیس از صبج تا شب روی پای بایستند و بنجل بفروشند، تا لقمه نانی بکف آرند.

آنوقت شرم آور نیست که امثال ما بیائیم و بجای آنکه برای جمایت این ثروت نفت و گاز ایران که متعلق به فرزندان و کودکان آینده آن مملکت است را دو دستی بدهیم به انگلیس مادر قحبه و بعد تازه بیائیم و از رادیو بی بی سی هم تعریف کنیم!

Here is my question to just about any supporter of the BBC: Don't you have anything better to do, than to come and writing a coverage for an staunch enemy of Iran and Iranians, and at the same time pointing out how despotically they forced you to bring down a few of your references at Radio Zamaneh for possible copyright infringement? God save you! Because you had friends at BBC...do-be-do-be-da-da!

The point is this, do you dare to bad mouth BBC -the mouthpiece of the degenerate British government, so that they turn around and confiscate your Islamic passport, so for the rest of your life you end up living in England and praising BBC and not being able to go back to Iran and eat Soltani and obtain hashish at retail price? Of course not, you rather praise BBC and with the hope that someday you might have the opportunity to sell your country "on the air" at the BBC!

The oblivious Persian nation abroad, whose highest priority is going to parties here and there and freeloading and reading Rumi, should ask itself this question: Why should the British government come and spend so much money to offer Iranians a balanced program, news and entertainment? Why, because you assume that we are not Arab, or we look European, or perhaps you think because they know that Iranians love to move their asses to western tunes? Well, if this is your reason then what else can I say?

What BBC and of course the hands behind it the British government wants is your cheap oil and gas, the same gas that east Europeans are freezing to death for the lack of it. The British government wants the Iranian women set aside their fight for their country and end up in the western shopping malls, such as those in England and spend their entire days on their feet selling Chinese junks to customers in order to earn a living. This is what the British government and your BBC wants.

What a shame that in this juncture of history when the Russo-British conspiracies are once again ripping our country of its natural wealth and human resources, we get together and write appraisals for the BBC and then bunch of ass holes come and call me Daee-Jaan!

Give me another ten years and we will see who was right and who was wrong!


what to expect next?

by Rock (not verified) on

It seems your reflection about BBC changed in a matter of 3 days! I wonder which way you're going next?!