Statement on harassment of BBC Persian staff

These latest comments from the Iranian news agency... represent a significant escalation of the threats made against named BBC Persian staff.Francesca Unsworth, Director of BBC News
Date: 09.08.2018     Last updated: 09.08.2018 at 14.49
Category: World Service

Responding to comments made on the Mizan news agency, Francesca Unsworth, Director of BBC News, says:

“These latest comments from the Iranian news agency connected to the judiciary in Iran represent a significant escalation of the threats made against named BBC Persian staff. In deliberately inflammatory language, this statement effectively incites violence against our journalists.

"We call once again for all Iranian harassment against BBC Persian staff and their families in Iran to end immediately. This is an issue of press freedom, and of the rights of all journalists around the world to operate without fear violence or persecution.”

Note to Editors
In a lengthy statement issued yesterday (08.07.18) by the Mizan news agency, on the National Day Of Journalists in Iran, a series of allegations were made against named BBC Persian journalists.

The most worrying passage says: “Without doubt, the mafia gang associated with the joint psychological operations HQ of overthrowing the system of the Islamic Republic, which has directly targeted the Iranian people and their security, are not free to carry out any counter-security measures against the Iranian people.

"The members and employees of this gang, a number of whom have gathered in the BBC Persian propaganda-security apparatus, and even their internal colleagues who are following the same line, must be held answerable for their actions against the Iranian people. They will surely be exposed one day before the Iranian nation, and God’s hand of justice will manifest itself through the arms of the Iranian people, and they will be punished for their actions.”

These comments were further amplified later by a statement from a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards Corps, in a significant escalation of the type of language used against BBC Persian staff.

BBC Press Office