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Activity of BBC Persian channel illegal in Iran: Culture Minister

BBC Persian TV

Tehran, Jan 21, IRNA -- The activity of the Persian TV channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Iran is illegal, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Safar-Harandi said on Wednesday.

BBC launches Persian TV channel
The BBC's newest satellite TV channel has gone on air, a Farsi language service for viewers mainly in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. BBC Persian TV will broadcast for eight hours a day, seven days a week, in peak viewing time in those countries.

Bloggers welcome BBC Persian TV
The launch of BBC Persian TV has been the subject of much comment by Iranian bloggers. Most welcomed the new satellite TV channel and predicted that it would attract a large audience inside Iran and in other mainly Persian-speaking countries.

Speaking to reporters after a cabinet session, he said, "The BBC Persian channel began its activity in Iran illegally and unofficially."

The BBC has launched its Persian-language channel since January 14, broadcasting for eight hours each day.

"As previously announced by the Ministry of Information, activity of the BBC Persian channel will disturb national security since its producers have put inflicting damage on the Islamic establishment on their agenda."

"The BBC has a long history of sowing discord among nations and disturbing their national solidarity through its news programs," Safar-Harandi said.

He added that the British news company had "no good reputation" among regional states.

The minister also called on those working in Iranian media "to avoid cooperating with the BBC Persian."

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