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Iran May Shut Down Press TV

October 14th, 2020 06:52

U.S. media report­ed in June 2020 on a poten­tial Iran­ian move to shut down sev­er­al of its for­eign lan­guage chan­nels, a move that could include Press TV. Accord­ing to a report by Radio Far­da, the Iran­ian branch of the U.S. gov­ern­ment-fund­ed Radio Free Europe / Radio Lib­er­ty (RFE/RL):

June 10, 2020 Iran’s state tele­vi­sion may have to shut down sev­er­al for­eign lan­guage chan­nels due to finan­cial strains caused by sanc­tions, mis­man­age­ment, falling view­er­ship fig­ures and long-stand­ing dif­fer­ences between the state broad­cast­er and the pres­i­den­tial admin­is­tra­tion. Pay­man Jebel­li, the head of the exter­nal ser­vices of the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Iran’s Broad­cast­ing orga­ni­za­tion (IRIB) told Fars news agency on Wednes­day June 10 that the organization’s ide­o­log­i­cal­ly charged Al-Kowsar TV net­work as well as the Iran­ian Radio’s Dari ser­vice have already been closed due to accrued debts to satel­lite providers. Jebel­li added that a dozen oth­er TV chan­nels includ­ing the Eng­lish-lan­guage Press TV and the Ara­bic news net­work Al-Alam, the Span­ish lan­guage His­pan TV as well as i‑Film chan­nels in Ara­bic and Eng­lish are among the net­works that might be shut down soon due to finan­cial strains.

The report adds:

Oth­er than dozens of radio and TV net­works beam­ing pro­grams abroad, the IRIB oper­ates two dozen chan­nels in Tehran as well as over 30 provin­cial chan­nels that often broad­cast the same pro­grams. Mean­while it has sev­er­al offices in oth­er coun­tries that spend mil­lions of dol­lars on their staffing and operations.

Read the report here.

Over the years, a num­ber of actions have been tak­en in regard to Press TV:

  • UK reg­u­la­tors found that the chan­nel was run­ning its edi­to­r­i­al offices from Tehran and not from the UK, thus breach­ing the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Act.
  • In June 2020, Face­book start­ed label­ing Russ­ian, Chi­nese, and oth­er state-con­trolled media orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing Press TV as “state media”, and was lat­er expect­ed to block any ads from such out­lets that tar­get US users.
  • In Jan­u­ary 2020 YouTube delet­ed the Press TV chan­nel after a UK media report indi­cat­ed it was being used for pro-Tehran, anti-Israeli propaganda.

Press TV is part of the media struc­ture of the Iran­ian influ­ence net­work. US media reports that It was found­ed in 2007 and is spon­sored by Iran’s state-run tele­vi­sion oper­a­tion, Islam­ic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing. Accord­ing to its web­site, Press TV “takes rev­o­lu­tion­ary steps as the first Eng­lish broad­cast­ing inter­na­tion­al Iran­ian news net­work.” Press TV had its UK broad­cast­ing license revoked in Jan­u­ary 2012 by British communication’s reg­u­la­tor Ofcom, which found that the chan­nel was run­ning its edi­to­r­i­al from Tehran and not from the UK, thus breach­ing the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Act. In the UK, the chan­nel is direct­ed by film direc­tor and writer Hamid Khairoldin, who is also con­nect­ed to oth­er pro-Iran­ian media out­lets. A 2015 report by the details var­i­ous anti­se­mit­ic themes and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries pro­mot­ed in its programs.