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Speaking to Iran

Richard Sambrook | 16:54 UK time, Tuesday, 10 October 2006

We have announced today that the BBC is going to launch a TV news and information channel for Iran in early 2008. It will be broadcast in Farsi (Persian) and will be distributed free by satellite.

World Service logoIt's the latest in a number of initiatives to develop the BBC World Service from a radio-dominated operation into a multi-media service for key international audiences. Last year we closed 10 radio language services to be able to re-invest the money in an Arabic TV channel and in improved internet services. This time the British government is paying the full cost of Farsi TV.

Television is increasingly the dominant way people in the Middle East, Iran and many other parts of the world receive their news. We have had a successful Farsi radio broadcast to Iran for more than 60 years and, more recently, on the internet as well - although recently the Iranian authorities have sought to block the internet site. However if we are to continue to maintain our audience reach in the region, it is essential we move into TV.

The service will reflect the BBC's core editorial values of impartiality and fairness and crucially bring a broad range of international reporting to an audience which cannot always get access to free and independent information.

Although the service is funded by the British Government, as is the rest of the BBC World Service, the new channel will of course be editorially independent. Since the launch of the World Service in 1932, successive British governments have recognised that for the BBC's international news to be credible, trusted and respected by diverse audiences around the world, it must be truly independent.

The BBC's Global News services comprise the World Service in English and 32 languages, the internet news site accessible overseas and BBC World TV news. Altogether 210 million people each week get their news from the BBC - and that number continues to grow. We live in a more complex, interconnected, world than ever, wrestling with issues like international terrorism, climate change, globalised trade and economics. As a result, we are finding more people want international news than ever before.


  • 1.
  • At 05:40 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • sean wrote:

so its still the u.k taxpayer paying
for it,or am i wrong.

  • 2.
  • At 05:52 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • James wrote:

Could someone please explain how this benefits us, the British tax payer?

  • 3.
  • At 06:40 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

It comes as no surprise to me that BBC news owns up to being "Farsi-cal." It's too bad BBC doesn't pay more than lip service to impartiality and fairness, its so called "core values." Want an example? OK, in BBC's series, "America, Age of Empire" BBC interviewed a peasant on the streets of Havana. They asked the interviewee what he thought of American power. Even in the unlikely event that after a lifetime of Fidel Castro's propaganda he'd had an independent thought, he'd have been a fool to express it to a foreign journalist on penalty of winding up in a Cuban jail for several years if the Cuban authorities ever found out. BBC, why not just give the mike to Fidel Castro himself and ask him what he thinks? Just don't tell your audience who it is. Just translate and pretend it's as impartial and fair as the rest of your news broadcasts.

  • 4.
  • At 07:01 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Francis wrote:

Although the service is funded by the British Government, as is the rest of the BBC World Service

Should this not read, Although the service is funded by YOU the British tax payer.?

My licence is being stopped as of today. Sorry beeb, I'm not paying for this.

Although the BBC is funded by the Government
the decision to launch a free TV station for Iran
is of course an impartial decision made by whom?
Why does the British TV licence payer subsidize
a channel for Iranian audiences?
Obviously this has more to do with Military and
geopolitical interests than with the higher moral mission of the BBC to boldly where no BBC TV has been before.
Evidently the vainglorious hope of some in the White house, sorry I meant, Broadcasting House, is behind this. It is an invasion aimed at the mind, to back up threats of dropping bombs on Iran. Long live BBC impartiality!!!

  • 6.
  • At 07:56 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • anon wrote:

I'm sure the people suffering under the tyrannical and human rights abusing Iranian regime will LOVE you telling them to "keep an open mind" about it.

  • 7.
  • At 07:58 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Fereidoon Eimen wrote:

What does BBC know about Iran in the first place?
Are you going to beam your propaganda to Iran, your immorality or your disinformation, or all?
After keeping Khomaini on ice in Iraq, you finally used him to bring down my house and set us back a thousand years.
Now you want to beam more lies to Iranians from the "Bush House" in London to fool them even more?
Iranians have become far wiser than are given credit for, they will no longer listen to your propaganda and not only that, Iranians will never fall for any foreigner posing as a friend.
We have learned our lessons.

  • 8.
  • At 08:00 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Last year, your colleague Helen Boaden rubbished a planned Russian 24/7 rolling news channel because it was partly financed by the Moscow government. Now you are telling us that Iranians will trust a station launched by a broadcaster that gets £245m per year from the Foreign Office. What a waste of taxpayers' money.

  • 9.
  • At 09:24 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Navi Reyd wrote:

Wasn't Richard Sambrook one of those who escaped censure by the Hutton Report?

Once upon a time, the BBC was noted for its impartiality and fairness. But now, the BBC has become notorious for being anti-America, anti-Bush, anti-Israel, anti-War in Iraq, etc.

I used to be a great admirer and supporter of the BBC, but I have since lost all respect for your organisation. I think terrorists throughout the world love the BBC

Clarification: The World Service - including this new TV service for Iran - is funded by direct "grant-in-aid" from the Foreign Office, not by the licence fee. Of course, government funds are derived from taxes.

Anyone wishing to know more about how the World Service is funded, run or governed can read the Annual Review here.

  • 11.
  • At 09:40 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Francis wrote:

Will BBC-Iran report on this

because BBC-UK certainly hasn't!!!!!

  • 12.
  • At 09:44 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Bill wrote:

Spend the money on providing better service for the BRITISH broadcast public rather than pandering to a group of foreigners. The only reason the BBC is doing this is to pander to the Iranians who live in England and to show how 'multicultural' England is.

  • 13.
  • At 10:53 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Darren wrote:

May I ask WHY the BBC is doing this? I would rather the BBC spent the money to launch and run this new channel on new ways of improving the UK's BBC channels.

At the moment the ever-growing list of BBC channel are mediocre, and the fact that we have to PAY a television license fee for it is appauling.

  • 14.
  • At 10:59 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Brian wrote:

All these ranters! Look at it this way: the British Government would VERY HAPPILY spend £15m on attacking Iraq. If by putting a bit of money into a World Service for Iran we can help the path of diplomacy and avoid another war in future, is this not a price well worth paying?

  • 15.
  • At 11:21 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • ex-Hungarian Service wrote:

I'm so happy to pay for this adventure with my job!!! If you can't beat them, join them, n'est-ce pas?

  • 16.
  • At 11:28 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Ian wrote:

As a British taxpayer I am more than happy for the BBC World Service to be funded by the Foreign Office grant in aid and I am pleased to see that the BBC World Service is expanding, rather than the service facing budget cuts as it has done in the past.

The BBC World Service is one of Britain's best exports, if not our best export. It is highly regarded around the world and makes a significant positive contribution to the profile of Britain abroad.

I listen to the BBC World Service abroad when I am travelling and in the UK on digital TV/radio. The World Today is a good alternative to the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4.

This is disgusting! Expecting the British to pay a licence fee, yet broadcasting to the oil-rich Iranians for nothing! What next?

It's high time the BBC went PRIVATE. I am sick to death of having to pay a licence fee for the garbage the BBC spews about Islam, and I am sick to death of the whitewashing of this disgusting geopolitical ideology!

Your fat salaries, paid of course by the British taxpayer, should henceforth be paid by advertizing. Then we'll see just how far the BBC will get!

Day after day, we, the British taxpayers, have put up with distorted reporting about Islam in the West and in the rest of the world. Important stories, such as the "intifada" the French police speak of in the banlieue of France go unreported, as do the misdeeds of adherents of this faith elsewhere.

When is the BBC ever going to speak FOR the British people? Your organization disgusts any decent-minded people!

  • 18.
  • At 11:39 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Jonathan Marks wrote:

Frankly, I think it is a good move. No European country is broadcasting public service TV programmes towards Iran in Farsi. I think you will also find there is a healthy thirst for sports news as well as politics....I notice UK football material on Iranian TV which I am sure has been grabbed from foreign satellites. But I hope it won't be "speaking to Iran", but rather speaking with Iranians. They need a dialogue with us, not monologues chucked across the border. This figure is cheap by any diplomatic and military standards.

  • 19.
  • At 11:55 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Rob Grimes wrote:


No it isn't. Because we are clearly going to have to go to war with Iran to prevent a genocidal maniac from nuking Israel.

All this will give us is more of the BBC's leftist, elitist, pacifist, anti-British lies. Funded by the UK taxpayer.

  • 20.
  • At 01:05 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Zuzeie Gorg wrote:

I sure hope this does'nt turn out to be another foxchannel. I have also looked into the persian part of this site and I must say that there is lots of false propaganda in there, no wonder that the goverment of Iran dislikes it. The English part however is not partial. I have linked to this article in several places: and I think that Harrison has done good job on it. My humble advice to BBC is that all the material that is written in persian/farsi should be transleted to english and checked by chiefs in BBC. That way would'nt have to worry about reciving one-sided anti-Iranian thought by those persian speaking journalist who might not be impartial. And by this I'm not saying that BBC should'nt come up with critics regarding Iran, but it should logical ones.

  • 21.
  • At 01:32 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • B Revell wrote:

Since when ever has the bbc shown fairness and impartiality in the news that they report.

  • 22.
  • At 02:55 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Sam Mazloom wrote:

Last I checked the BBC stood for British Broadcasting Corporation. It has nothing to do with Iran so why not mind your own business and broadcast to your own people rather than interfer in others affairs by airing propaganda into other states? You folks won't even called the Persian Gulf by it's right name and call it 'The Gulf'. Why not start by respecting Iran, Iranians and Iranian history before starting up anything else.

  • 23.
  • At 03:09 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

Why don't you just go the whole nine yards and set up a new Congress for Cultural Freedom, feed opium and marijuana into the population, and then make the kids watch pure non-sense. That way economic progress on Iran's part will not be a threat to Western interests. I jest mostly, but that's how the people of Iran are going to see this: as a typical attempt by the UK to subvert popular opinion via the media, in order to gain a foothold for neo-liberalism, and all of those other wonderful English ideals. Where's Alexander Hamilton or FDR when we need them?

  • 24.
  • At 03:53 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • a. zarnegar wrote:

Excellent idea. It helps bring the two people together.

p.s. It would be better to call it BBC PARSI SERVICE.

  • 25.
  • At 04:09 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Greg wrote:

I am not sure there would be demand for BBC services in Iran, since there are plenty of TV stations that provide Anti –American/Israel & pro-Islamist content, so BBC would have plenty of competition. I guess “great” coverage of Hezbollah- Israeli war was a practice run for the new audience.

  • 26.
  • At 04:51 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Atiqullah wrote:

I think this is a formal campaign to prepare the minds of Iranians for a regime change. So, if the Britons want to play a police role in this world, then, they should pay their tax money for that purpose.

  • 27.
  • At 08:07 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Liz wrote:

Given the UK's meddling in Iran's affairs for many years, leading to the political mess it is now in, why shouldn't the British government provide such a station to people in Iran?

I would, however, question the true motivation behind it, and its independence as it is to be funded by the Foreign Office.

Also, will the channel be viewable by cable users in the UK?

  • 28.
  • At 08:59 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Irani wrote:

What a joke! As if Iranian masses are going to listen to what the British Broadcasting Company has to tell them - financed by the British government ("grant-in-aid"!!!). Oh they would watch it for sure, but the majority wouldn't take it seriously. It is very clear what the real objective is. The old fox is up to its old tricks again (not that the beast ever stopped).

BBC is a good broadcaster - but not that good.

  • 29.
  • At 09:24 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Ghodrat Memarzadeh wrote:

BBC may not be an ideal news organization, but it is by far the most trusted broadcasting service in the whole world, including Iran. Iranians are certainly among the world's foremost news junkies - an old habit reinforced by the fact that they have often been denied access to unbiased and independent information outlets inside the country. In light of all this, it was a very timely decision by the BBC to launch a Farsi TV sevice. It will certainly be highly appreciated by the Iranian people and you can be sure of a very large number of viewers. Good luck! I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that your radio signals in the evening are very weak and getting weaker by the day. Couldn't you possibly do something about it? Mehran, Isfahan

  • 30.
  • At 09:39 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Gareth wrote:

As a Canadian who sees impartial non profit national news as a very good thing, it's sad to see where the BBC has headed in the last few years. And to those passing judgement on Fox news as a completely biased right wing media spoutlet...have you ever sat down and watched it? I dare you. You'll find more truth than what's on the BBC these days.

I used to check the BBC website daily, this is no longer the case. I literally cannot rely on them for impartial news about what's happening in the world I live in. I lament. And it's sad seeing what Muslim intimidation through violence can do to to an organization with such deep rich history of being the best in the world for so long.

  • 31.
  • At 09:47 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • James wrote:

When the 10 World Service outlets were closed I remember seeing a few people in the Middle East on TV welcoming the news that this sort of service would launch in Iran. Of course, they could have been carefully selected...

What's curious to me is why it's being funded by the World Service pot and not as a commercial operation like BBC World?

Anyway - assuming existing radio and bureau staff are deployed to run the channel, and the newsroom (which is likely to be in London) is in the existing space using existing resources, it's not going to be a huge amount. The BBC will have carriage agreements for the major satellite owners and as it will probably be in 4:3 they could even reuse equipment no longer being used for the UK operation. I doubt that'd happen - but it could!

Liz raises a good point. I don't think that they would put it on to cable and satellite EPGs, but it would be great though if it could be broadcast on Hotbird as well as a position for Iran so it is available to the UK.

  • 32.
  • At 10:04 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Ritter wrote:

Have I got this right? I have to pay TWICE - once via the licence fee for my own TV channels and AGAIN via my taxes for BBC tv in Iran?

Have I missed something?

Can't the Iranians pay for their own BBC via an TV Licence fee like the rest of us?

News sound good but it's up to Iranian people who how do take this news?
When BBC started it's radio service in Nepal, most of the young people who wanted to improve their English became happy. Yes, I know lot's of young people(me too) listen BBC to get improved our language.
News are basically not oriented in our interest and we can't run with world due to some reason.
Few commentators seem not happy to pay their tax for Iranian but it count a lot to have new channel. BBC has great craze in world, all people would love to see current and exciting news through BBC.
But most important thing which BBC should not underestimate that BBC could not impose news on Iranian. BBC must give it's best preference to their local news.
All the best!


  • 34.
  • At 10:20 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

I have worked in Iran as a Expat, and talking to the iranians they sit there listening to the Farsi world service at night to get the news. They trust the BBC, just like we would watch the BBC football coverage over ITV, because we trust Motty give us the coverage.

If you live in a country were propagana rules the waves and they trust a BBC, it is good thing the BBC is providing a service.

Dont knock somthing that is providing somthing for people of a foriegn country wanting to know whats going on on the outside.



  • 35.
  • At 01:02 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Roland Deschain wrote:

Ah, suddenly all these "Iran is wonderful" programmes make sense. After all, you can't broadcast there without the agreement of the Iranian government.

  • 36.
  • At 01:03 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Rob Grimes (19),
I agree we will have to go to war with Iran but not to prevent them from nuking Israel. If you've listened carefully to Ah-mad-in-the-jihad he is even more eager to nuke us. The western world stands in the way of his dream of an international Shiite Caliphate just as it stands in the way of Osama Bin Laden's dream of an international Sunni Caliphate. Unwillingness to recognize the growing threat to our existance and thwart it pre-emptively at the earliest and least costly time demonstrates our governments' failure to have learned the lessons of Munich 1938. It means we will likely have to learn it again until we understand it...or perish as a civilization. Appeasement in the hope of peace seems the easy way out but is the most costly by far in the end. There is no rational way to peacefully co-exist with those on a messianiac mission and an atomic bomb.

  • 37.
  • At 01:30 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Jack Boots wrote:

Get real.

Who pays for the BBCs funding? The UK government, through theft of the UK population.

Is the UK government impartial? Fair? Balanced?

No, it is a collective war-criminal.

  • 38.
  • At 02:39 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • tim wrote:

I dont see why not. its not the bbc is that unimpartial anyway, its obvious to see that they dont censor news, which is an improvement on what some iranians get at the moment.
and its funded by the govt, not the licence fee.

  • 39.
  • At 03:04 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Damien wrote:

As a soldier I would rather be paid to remove a corrupt government than to have to pay to entertain them, as no doubt our 'lies' will entertain them. Anybody in the BBC fancy that?

  • 40.
  • At 03:27 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Ed wrote:

Well, I think its a good idea. I would be surprised if they could genuinely offer impartial news with the repressive regime.

The licence fee has nothing to do with this, I imagine the UK Government has asked the BBC to run this, not the reverse, so if you have issues with it, contact your MP.

  • 41.
  • At 09:52 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Julie wrote:

Think carefully of the ethics choice being made- UK citizens die and suffer unecessarily every day because the NHS does not have enough money to fund proper preventative, diagnostic and curative medical care. Yet regardless our government is still enthusiastically carving out £245 million of our taxpayer money to spend so that Iranians who, for a large part would rather see us as 'infidels' and Westerners dead, can watch another tv viewpoint in the name of 'World Service'? Even though those of 10 other languages now find their previous BBC broadcasts defunct in the reinvestiture toward this endeavor?? Madness!

  • 42.
  • At 09:57 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Max Powers wrote:

The BBC is making a grave error by using the name Farsi TV, It's PERSIAN not Farsi. So it should be Persian TV!

Well I for one think its a good idea (even if the others above don't think so). I mean really, for thousands if not millions of people, the BBC World Service from Bush House is their voice of freedom and for many their saving grace. I'd happily pay my taxes for that.

  • 44.
  • At 11:28 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • sam wrote:

I'd like to find out when and where you start recruiting for Persian TV

  • 45.
  • At 06:54 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

A knowledge of the facts never harmed anyone. Usually does a lot of good.

  • 46.
  • At 08:10 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Troy wrote:

Maybe I'm just another yankee, 10 gallon hat, cowboy boot wearing, six-shooter toting American...but has everyone in the media forgotten that these people have declared war on the West (including England) and are cutting peoples' heads off? I mean, we might say, "Hey, either you're with us or you're against us," but we don't then drag a Muslim cleric up onto the stage and cut his head off, do we? Maybe these elitist media types have forgotten that if the radical muslims win this war that started even before the WTC was first bombed that they are gonna be the first ones missing their heads! I don't know, maybe these media outlets that suddenly don't want to be associated with their home countries anymore for fear that terrorists will think them biased need to give up their citizenship. We can create a new category for them: Global Citizen, subject to the laws of whichever country they are in at any given time. And BBC, if you truly want to be perceived as impartial, why don't you broadcast directly from Iran. If the Iranian censors have a problem with what you are putting on the air they can just come and knock on your office door. Heh heh, didn't think so. CNN, BBC get your hands out of our pockets and start putting your own money where your mouth is.

  • 47.
  • At 08:44 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

I can see it now.... Kat Slater in a burka.... Doctor Who taking a trip back in time to discover the holocaust didn't exist after all...

BBC news could also report a pro-Islamist, Anti-American, Anti-Jewish content....

Oh wait...

We have the last one already.

Don't tell me the BBC will be reporting the news as it really is, they'll be giving the Iranians exactly what they want only this time it'll be from "our own" mouths instead of theirs.

Just so you know in advance, i have absolutely no intention of paying my TV license next year. I refuse point black to borderline sponsor a regieme that has threatened to destroy the west and commit genocide which is exactly what the BBC will be doing. (Lord Haw Haw anybody?) I pay for you to improve the quality of our programming and thats bad enough as it is, NOT entertain the enemies of Britain, America and Israel.

Its about time somebody or a group of individuals took the TV License on in the European Courts, being forced to pay for something which i rarely watch is surely against some human right, everything else is.

  • 48.
  • At 10:02 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Sophie Vandeleur wrote:

Just a comment on the style of this blog. Richard's posting reads more like a press release than a blog-type conversation with the audience. The later posting from Amanda Farnsworth shows that she gets it.

  • 49.
  • At 10:37 AM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Mark E wrote:

Jordan you might be happy to pay your taxes for the BBC World Service, but the majority of us aren't.

The majority of people in this country aren't happy that we have to pay for a licence to watch TV in this country without knowing that our taxes are going towards paying for TV in a country which considers the western world to be an enemy.

Perhaps rather then providing free TV for Iran the BBC should consider providing free TV for Britain - after all that is what the first 'B' stands for. But again it seems like the BBC and the British Government are more interested in being fair to foreign countries then to the country they are supposed to represent.

  • 50.
  • At 12:16 PM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

The poor long suffering people of Iran are going to gain nothing from the launch of the BBC news & information service. Why does the Middle East need another anti-Israeli, anti-American TV station?

The PC and euphemism flitters at the BBC will bloc out any Islamic brutally carried out by the ruling theocracy.

Being a Muslim is very PC right now, and they are definitely at top of the BBC tree of PC victim status, and can do no wrong. They will not come in for any criticism. This is what scares me the most because the BBC won’t hold back at portraying them as victims.

My Israeli friends are terrified of being painted as villains by the BBC.

Kind regards


  • 51.
  • At 01:08 PM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Neil wrote:

So, it's not a waste of our licence fee. It's just a waste of our taxes. That makes it alright then.

  • 52.
  • At 01:11 PM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Navid wrote:

I quote, "Since the launch of the World Service in 1932, successive British governments have recognised that for the BBC's international news to be credible, trusted and respected by diverse audiences around the world, it must be truly independent".

Is this the same "independence" that in 1954 helped the MI6 and CIA operatives in Iran by sending them the signal to start the coup against the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Dr Mosadeq? *clap* *clap*

  • 53.
  • At 04:03 PM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Anthony Winter wrote:

Some of the negative, little britain comments on here make me sad. The BBC is respected throughout the world, and for good reason for being the best and most impartial source for news. They get it wrong sometimes, but not as often as others, and the ethos is right. The UK government recognises the importance of free information for developing and tyrannical regimes. It helps give the people a broader perspective that might mean the next generations of potential anti-western citizens get a chance to at least look at our world and realise we are people to. Every organization is falible, still, try and see the wood for the trees. And i'll pay for it through taxes and be proud of the impact that money has on the world in which we all live.

  • 54.
  • At 06:12 PM on 12 Oct 2006,
  • Aatash wrote:

There was a time when British warships were fueled by the cheap Iranian oil while the Iranians themselves had to live in poverty. The British deprived Iranians of getting benefit from their resourses for more than twenty years. So that it led to Iranians raising against Briton, chanting "Death to Inglis", and later nationalizing oil. Now all these have passed and oil is in the hand of Iranians themselves, but what has remained is the stain that is left from the British imperialism on the Iranian nation. Moreover, nowadays a regime is on power in Iran which is hostile toward west. So that the west cannot really come up with a real solution on how to deal with it, except by supporting and helping Iranians to raise against their governemnt. And here it goes VOA, BBC and tens of other radio and TV channels that are broadcasting on Iran every other hour. I am actually very happy that nowadays Iran is troublesome for the west. After all, the west deserves it, as it has been itself that has not shown their good intention towards Iranian people in the past century. And I am happy that it is British licence owners that should pay for this to resolve the misundersandings that their so-called democratic goverment has produced in the relationship with the Iranian people.

  • 55.
  • At 12:12 AM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • Aryan wrote:

As if there isnt enough propoganda about, keep the channel to yourself we have enough propoganda in Iran to last us a whole lifetime, from Ayatollahs to Neo-cons.

  • 56.
  • At 03:25 AM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • Lzrhk wrote:

How stupid! The bbc giving the theocratic dictatorship in Iran a platform.

Does the bbc have the courage to offer the Iranian opposition a voice similar to that given to the theocrats?

No one should hold their breath.

British appeasement is still alive and well at the bbc, it seems.

Great idea, will be a great addition to the Beeb's internationalised style of public service broadcasting. It'll be better than any of the American Funded services.

  • 58.
  • At 10:35 PM on 14 Oct 2006,
  • Jenny wrote:

Will all women appearing on the service have to wear headscarves?

Will it deal with subjects illegal in Iran, like homosexuality, with the morality of executions and stonings? Will it be self-critical of Britain, for example of the Churchill government's role in overthrowing democracy there in 1954?

Where will be the balance between maintaining the BBC's ability to report from, and have a bureau there, and the content of the Farsi service?

Will it be an open window on the world, the essence of the BBC, in theory, or a British government spin on what Iranians see on other channels already?

Is this just part of the usual British / American building-up to an attack on a country? I ask that, not expecting that anyone at the BBC knows the answer, but expecting that they should be planning for that eventuality, given that the chairwoman of the Labour party point-blank refused to agree, on Question Time, with Baroness Williams that an attack on Iran would be a disaster and the PM should refuse British participation in such a venture. BBC participation, in turn, might at the least harm the brand, which is presently highly regarded internationally.

From reading these comments, clearly the World Service has much work to do to convince the British public that it is funded in a fair and worthwhile way.

This whole 'waste of the licence fee' nonsense is just that, and it's understandable, if somewhat disappointing that numerous small-minded tax-payers view any expenditure that doesn't directly benefit them individually as a waste of money.

Funding a Farsi news service to Iran under the independent stewardship of the BBC is a very astute move, in that it allows Iranians to benefit from a Western viewpoint on their affairs that cannot be influenced by the ruling elite. Even if you subscribe to the view that all news is propaganda, surely it's better to give people the benefit of propaganda from both sides?

"..reflect the BBC's core values - fairness and impartiality" – You must be joking - Since when BBC has become impartial and fair? What devious plan you have for Iran now, by launching BBC Persian?

  • 61.
  • At 05:54 PM on 15 Oct 2006,
  • Ragnar wrote:

What do you need a "special" service for?

The NORMAL world service appears to carry more about the Middle East tan Ajizzeera,(sp).

It would help if the likes of the world service did not try and find a "mulim angle" to virtualy EVERY topic it covers.

I HATE football, but during the recent world cup, which team, were followed "fly on the wall documentary style"? Iran.

Womens hour "Muslim women and football".

Science "What do the muslims think of Mars exploration".

Money programme "What is the Saudi view".

The ticket, "the lates films out of XYZ muslim director etc"


What the HEL has the fact that he is "muslim" got to do with it? But obviously the BBC seem to think it is information we are all just in DESPERATE need of.

Music shows NEVER fail to have a "special selection of middle Eastern music" included in their 3/4 hour.

etc, etc, ad infinitum.

  • 62.
  • At 12:12 AM on 16 Oct 2006,
  • Darius wrote:

Please do not call it Farsi. The proper name of my native language in English sounds as Persian, NOT Farsi. Thanks!

  • 63.
  • At 08:03 PM on 16 Oct 2006,
  • Bill Lee wrote:

Except when the power goes dim or out, it's back to the BBC World Service RADIO which works on small batteries, is known, provides content not silent pictures, and is generally unblockable, nor needs a dish open to the sky.

Whereas many of the BBC WS FM relay efforts have proved futile or difficult.

And do we really want to see twits in London doing little and having to have a picture before they can use a story whereas the BBC WS can just use a phone or a man in the pub sound bit.

  • 64.
  • At 04:29 AM on 23 Oct 2006,
  • Alison Marty wrote:

I am disgusted with you BBC, this really is the last straw. I will not pay my licence fee next year.

  • 65.
  • At 01:31 PM on 24 Oct 2006,
  • M Heywood wrote:

What is the point of posting any comments. You all have a good laugh at our expense - literally at our expense.

  • 66.
  • At 03:43 PM on 24 Oct 2006,
  • John wrote:

I for one am glad to see this service being instituted. I was brought up in the Gulf and in those pre satellite days our only source of news was through the BBC World Service or week old newspapers. Anything that allows ALL people access to impartial news should be encouraged. My later life at sea left me with the firm impression that a lot of our problems in this world are caused by ill education and the closing of minds.

  • 67.
  • At 08:46 PM on 24 Oct 2006,
  • Kaveh Ghasemloo wrote:

No one do something without reason, specially if there is a requirement of spending some money.
Either it will be biased, Or It's not rational for UK goverment to spend money on it.
Can you explain honstly why UK goverment may want to spend so much money on an UNBIASED TV for Iran? Or more simply why NOW? how can you explain this to british public?

  • 68.
  • At 03:03 PM on 25 Oct 2006,
  • Elitist wrote:

Next step, a joint Hamas & BBC broadcasting service in 'Palestine'.

Oh please, I can't wait to pay for that too.

  • 69.
  • At 04:46 PM on 25 Oct 2006,
  • Keith Thomas wrote:


I can just imagine the "articles" that will be featured

-An insight into a young member of the Irainian Revolutionary Guard "on tour" in Basra.
-A member of the Badr Corp on what "aid" they have been providing to the Methdi Army.
-Why "Islamic Justice" is more "democratic" than Western justice.
-What you can do find out if your partner is being unfaithful and how to stop it.
-A spot report on women being "enlightened" by discovering Shia Islam in Tooting.
-An interview with George Galloway.

The one thing that will not be reported is the demostrations that have been taking place against the Government....

I'm all for the World Service broadcast,but how many Irainians will be able to listen "freely" is another moot point.

  • 70.
  • At 10:41 PM on 15 Feb 2007,
  • Mark Alexander wrote:

I dispair at the BBC nowadays.

How can they talk about the BBCs core editorial values of impartiality when the first sentence in Radio 2's 6.00am news more often or not starts with the words "the government" and then leads on to inform us of what ever hair-brain scheme they have dreamed up next to extort more money from us or to make more of our own law abiding citizens into criminals.

When I listen to our news I think back to how that news would have been taken twenty years ago. It would not have been believable. Yet here it is and we're allowing it.

Radio two is the UK's own propaganda station.

How can we really believe that Farsi TV will be any less impartial.

The taxation system in this country and local government costs are rapidly bankrupting this country.

The government are building more prisons to cope with all their new criminals that they now have due to all their new laws being broken yet still closing hospital wards because they cannot afford them even though they have brought in thousands of Phillipino nurses at a great cost to the Phillipines to work in them cost effectively.

I feel the taxpayers money could be spent more effectively in this country as opposed to in Iran.

I feel that the BBC's time and effort could be better spent training it's amateur local radio presenters to be more professional and entertaining.

A former BBC listener

It is interesting that the Arabic counterpart of this new TV for Iran, is named as Arabic TV – rather than ‘al-Arabiat TV’ (the native name), but for Iran instead of Persian TV it is called “Farsi TV”!

Many Iranians still remember the partisan posture taken by the BBC in both 1953, supporting the coup against Dr Mossadegh’s democratically elected government, and also in 1979, as what became widely known as the ‘Ayatollah BBC’, (BBC drummed up hysteria against the Shah and gave Ayatollah Khomeini a full propaganda platform inside Iran during this time). With these events in mind, it is difficult to interpret the BBC’s choice of name "Farsi" as anything other than a conscious decision.

  • 72.
  • At 10:30 PM on 09 Oct 2007,
  • Aryana wrote:

These British people are simply stupid and slow-learners.

In their own website they refer to the language of Iran as Persian, and then they call it Farsi!!!

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