I wrote earlier about the IRI’s announcement that BBC Persian TV is not authorized to station its crew in Iran, nor are the long-standing BBC Tehran office team allowed to contribute in any way to the new television station’s content generation--or else!
It seems the price the British government must pay for starting that TV station is increasing, now extending to the closure of offices of the British Council in Tehran , suddenly pronounced as “illegal” by IRI authorities.
I talked to my friends in Tehran . It seems like everyone’s watching BBC Persian television these days, with the station’s programs quickly replacing the long-held “most popular” standing of VOA Persian television among other satellite TV stations.
I understand the Iranian government’s unhappiness with the BBC’s increasing and now extensive “footprint” in Iran, specially as so many believe that the BBC (radio) played a big role in the advent of Islamic Republic of Iran. It is baffling, however, to think that the British Council had been operating in Iran for all these years and not a peep out of the gentlemen on the subject until, wham!, the British Council is “illegal!?” Obviously, that didn’t stop them from having offices in Gholhak for all these years!
It would be interesting to watch the relations between Tehran and London over the upcoming months prior to Iranian elections. I'm sure BBC Persian television will have a lot to say about that, and I don’t think we have seen the end of this drama yet.
Watch //news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7871160.stm]. Martin Davidson, the British Council’s chief executive talks to the BBC about the British Council offices' closure in Tehran.
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