Iran calls BBC Persian TV threat to national security

January 15th, 2009 - 12:56 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Jan 14 (IANS) Iran Wednesday said the BBC Persian television network, launched Wednesday, is a threat to its national security, the official IRNA news agency reported.”The launching of the BBC Persian will not be good for national security,” intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseini Ejehi said, adding that Tehran will take “necessary measures to thwart the plan”.

Ejehi, however, didn’t specify what measures Iran will take against the British channel.

Earlier this month, Iranian hardliners alleged that BBC was seeking to recruit “spies” through this channel.

The British Broadcasting Corporation, however, rejected the Iranian claims and said the channel, which started broadcasting 1330 GMT Wednesday, would be seen in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and elsewhere in the region.

According to reports, the channel was launched with an annual $22 million budget financed by the British government.

The new BBC network has recruited several Iranian reporters and trained them in London. But the official request for accreditation from the Iranian culture ministry, in charge of foreign press, was rejected.

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