Thursday 19 Dec 2013
The BBC can confirm that its Persian Television service is being jammed from within Iran following coverage of the political unrest in Egypt.
BBC Persian TV has been working closely with the BBC's Arabic TV service to broadcast extensive rolling news from Egypt including many live crosses, and it is believed that it is the impact of this coverage which has prompted the jamming which began on the evening of Thursday 10 February.
Other programmes that may have caused concern within Iran include a broadcast yesterday where the BBC's Persian and Arabic services joined together for a special interactive show in which Iranian and Egyptian callers exchanged views.
Many Iranian viewers said they were watching events unfold in Cairo and elsewhere in the region extremely closely.
Peter Horrocks, Director BBC Global News, said: "This jamming should stop immediately. The events in Egypt are being viewed by the entire world and it is wrong that our significant Iranian audience is being denied impartial news and information from BBC Persian TV.
"This is a regional story that Persian TV have been covering thoroughly and it is clear from our audience feedback that Iranian people want to know what is happening in Egypt.
"The BBC will not stop covering Egypt and it will continue to broadcast to the Iranian people."
The heavy electronic jamming is of satellites the BBC uses in the Middle East to broadcast the BBC Persian TV signal to Iran. Satellite technicians have traced that interference and have confirmed it is coming from Iran.
BBC Persian television launched in 2009 and has suffered similar deliberate attempts to interfere with its signal intermittently ever since.
BBC Persian TV continues to stream live online.
Friday 11 February is the anniversary of the Iranian revolution and this, coupled with opposition leader Karubi being placed under house arrest, has meant protests have been called over the next couple of days.
BBC Persian is the BBC's integrated news and information service for Persian-speakers. It is available on air and on demand 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is designed to reach audiences on radio, television, the internet – on bbcpersian.com – mobile phones and handheld computers in whatever way best suits the audience.
BBC Persian is one of the oldest of the BBC's non-English language services. Launched on 28 December 1940, it has evolved into the Persian-speaking world's leading international broadcaster, covering the political, social and cultural issues that matter to its diverse audiences in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and across the world.
With its new TV presence, BBC Persian is bringing the world to Persian-speaking audiences – reporting the news wherever it leads.
The latest news from BBC Persian is now available on mobile phones, PDAs and other wireless handheld devices.