Last updated: 22 september, 2010 - 12:05 GMT

Thirtieth anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war

Soldiers during the Iran-Iraq war

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Iran-Iraq War, BBC Arabic and BBC Persian will, for the first time, combine resources for two special interactive programmes – broadcast live to audiences across Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arabic and Persian-speaking worlds.

The one-hour programmes, to be broadcast today, will give people from both Iran and Iraq the opportunity to join the live debate together - sharing their personal experiences about the war and how it touched and changed their lives - online, via texts, telephone, voxpops, webcam, email and social media outlets.

The flagship shows, Nuqtat Hewar (Talking Point) on BBC Arabic, presented by Samir Farah, and Nowbat Shoma (Your Turn) on BBC Persian, presented by Pooneh Ghoddoosi, will air using translators converting from one language to the other.

These two unprecedented live television programmes will give people from both Iran and Iraq an open forum to talk about their experiences during the eight-year conflict. Half a million people are believed to have died in the Iran-Iraq War, which remains one of modern history's bloodiest conflicts.

"The Iran-Iraq war and historical issues have made dialogue between these two countries incredibly difficult," said head of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks.

"BBC World Service has broadcast in Persian and Arabic for around 70 years, building extraordinary trust among audiences in both Iran and Iraq; this trust means the BBC is in a unique position to facilitate such ground-breaking programmes. It's a perfect example of the World Service's aim that 'nation shall speak peace unto nation'."

Now the BBC's largest language service, BBC Arabic broadcasts across the Arab world, with a total reach for of 22 million. BBC Persian has an estimated viewing audience of 3.1 million and broadcasts across Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Nuqtat Hewar (Talking Point) on BBC Arabic will air 1500 to 1600 (GMT) and Nowbat Shorma (Your Turn) on BBC Persian will broadcast at 1540 to 1600 (GMT) respectively on Wednesday 22 September.

For information on how to take part in the programmes, go to the click BBC Arabic and click BBC Persian websites.

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