Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Press Tv has to pay ( but not that much)
The Ofcom has finally decided to fine the Iranian state-owned broadcaster Press Tv £100,000 for the “Mahari affair”. As you can remember, the Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari was imprisoned for four months during 2009, accused by the Iranian authorities to be a spy involved in the demonstrations that after the June elections had been spreading all over the Persian country. Before be freed from the prison of Evin in October, the journalist had to confessed his alleged activities in an interview aired by Press Tv, an interview conducted under duress, with Bahari obliged to read a prepared script, as he later told. When the British media regulator Ofcom told Press Tv that this represented a so serious breach of the broadcasting code that could be punished with the termination of the Iranian media group licence, Press tv accused “powerful pro Israeli politicians and US sympathisers” and “members of the Royal family and the (British) government” to had influenced the decision – WikiLeaks cables about an increasing American diplomatic pressure on English authorities to limit the Iranian media activities somehow supported the Persian claims. The Foreign Office has always denied any involvement in the issue, but nowadays, with the bilateral relations at the lowest level after the events of the last week, the decision of the Ofcom acquires a great value. The decision not to shut down the Press tv activities in the UK can be seen as a positive sign by the British authorities, a way to maintain an open channel towards Iran, also through a satellite connection.