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Iranian Media Coverage of Ukraine Shaped by Internal Political Divisions, Report Finds

April 7th, 2022 11:34

Iran Inter­na­tion­al, a tele­vi­sion sta­tion head­quar­tered in Lon­don and aimed at Iran­ian view­ers, is report­ing that Inter­nal polit­i­cal divi­sions shape Iran­ian media cov­er­age of the war in Ukraine. Accord­ing to the  report, this divi­sion is between “hard­lin­er” and reform factions:

March 17, 2022, A clear media divide has emerged in Iran over the war in Ukraine, with some hard­lin­er media repeat­ing Moscow’s pro­pa­gan­da and oth­ers try­ing to reflect real­i­ty. Media affil­i­at­ed with hard­lin­er fac­tions, includ­ing the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard con­sis­tent­ly backed the offi­cial gov­ern­ment line in the ear­ly days of the war, say­ing the Unit­ed States and NATO were respon­si­bly by pro­vok­ing Rus­sia. But the gov­ern­ment has not repeat­ed those accu­sa­tion in recent days…While the hard­lin­er media try to mud­dle through amid pop­u­lar sup­port for Ukraine on social media, out­lets run by reform mind­ed loy­al­ists approach the con­flict in a much more even-hand­ed manner…The media divide is also vis­i­ble on atti­tudes toward Rus­sia as they relate to Iran and its nuclear nego­ti­a­tions with the West…Whether the cen­ters of pow­er in the Islam­ic Repub­lic tol­er­ate the anti-Russ­ian tone of some news­pa­pers and web­sites, or sim­ply are too busy these days amid nuclear talks and launch­ing bal­lis­tic mis­siles at Iraq, is hard to say.

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The Iran Inter­na­tion­al analy­sis iden­ti­fies the fol­low­ing media out­lets and their affiliations:

  • Mehr news web­site, “a state enti­ty financed by the pres­i­den­tial admin­is­tra­tion but con­trolled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office,” and which has been “par­rot­ing pure Russ­ian propaganda.”
  • Kay­han, “an ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive news­pa­per con­trolled by Khamenei’s office.”
  • Tab­nak web­site, “affil­i­at­ed with one of Pres­i­dent Ebrahim Raisi’s deputies, for­mer IRGC com­man­der Mohsen Rezaee.”
  • Fararu web­site “one of the rel­a­tive­ly more inde­pen­dent sources giv­en Iran’s media restrictions.”