BBC to resume broadcasts from Iran after 18-month gap

The BBC is to resume broadcasts from Iran nearly 18 months after its correspondent was thrown out during the mass unrest that followed the country's disputed presidential election in 2009.

"In another unexpected sign of progress, Iran's minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Mohammad Hosseini, indicated on Monday that he would consider positively an application for a correspondent from the BBC's Persian TV (PTV) satellite channel."

The move is being interpreted as a slight thaw in Iran's tense relations with Britain and the west, especially because the BBC is often attacked by Iranian hardliners as a propaganda arm of the UK government.

The first public sign of the relaxation came with a report by an Iranian employee of the BBC's Tehran bureau, published today. The bureau remained open even when its last correspondent, Jon Leyne, was expelled in July 2009.


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