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Iran Takes Measures Against Staff Of U.K.-Based TV Channel


Iran International TV is based in London.

Iran says it has imposed punitive measures on individuals associated with a London-based, Persian-language TV channel that Iranian officials have accused of bias in its coverage of anti-government protests that erupted across the country last week.

The Iranian judiciary’s website said on November 26 it had imposed “judicial and legal restrictions” on property held by individuals associated with Iran International TV.

It did not elaborate on the measures.

Iran International accused officials of the Intelligence Ministry of “harassing family members of some Iranian International television staff in Tehran and other cities” in recent days.

The channel, which began operating in 2017, is believed to be linked to Saudi Arabia.

Iranian officials have accused the Sunni-ruled Persian Gulf kingdom, along with the United States and Israel, of fomenting the recent unrest over fuel-price hikes.

Amnesty International says at least 143 people were killed in a broad crackdown on the protests.

Iran's authorities have rejected Amnesty's numbers and imposed a near-total Internet blackout for several days, making it difficult to evaluate the situation.

On November 22, Iran's ambassador to Britain said the embassy had written to Britain's broadcasting watchdog Ofcom to complain about the conduct of "hostile" London-based, Persian-language networks, naming Iran International TV, Manoto, and BBC Persian.

In a tweet, Ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad accused the networks of "biased distortion of the recent events in Iran and calling for widespread violence against Iranian civil institutions.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on November 26 condemned "Iranian intelligence agency harassment and threats against Iranian journalists based abroad, especially in Britain, and against their families still in Iran."

The Paris-based media-freedom watchdog also denounced "the role played by the Iranian ambassador in London in relaying these threats" on Twitter.

In 2017, the BBC filed a complaint with the United Nations over Iran freezing the assets of more than 150 people associated with its Persian service.

With reporting by AP and AFP