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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Iran Blocks BBC Persian Website

Published Tuesday, January 24, 2006

LONDON, 24 Jan. (IPS) The Iranian Government under President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad has blocked the BBC's Persian language internet site, for the first time, the British Broadcasting Corporation announced on Tuesday 24 January 2006.

When entering the BBC's Persian site, a message in Persian comes up saying "access to this site denied".

The blocking of the BBC's Persian-language site would further escalate tensions between London and Tehran.

There was no explanation from the Iranian clerical-led authorities for the decision, but observers says it could be “part” of the bitter feud opposing Tehran to London over a series of issues, starting with the Iranian controversial nuclear activities, the condemnation by the Great Britain, -- like the majority of the international community -- of the anti-Semite, anti-Israeli declarations of the Iranian populist President as well as Iran accusing Britain of being behind troubles in the oil rich province of Khouzistan, where the explosion of two bombs this morning in the city of Ahwaz left at least nine dead and 49 wounded.

Though no group has claimed responsability for the explosions at a bank and the offices of Natural Ressources, but some officials had blamed "same elements sa for earlier troubles", meaning England but without naming the country directly.

Many cities of the south western province had erupted in violence against trhe authorities last April, with a London-based "Organisation of the Liberation of Arab al Ahwaz" calling for "ending the usurpation of Persians over the land of Arabs".

In the latest episode of this diplomatic escalation, Mr. Tony Blair, the British Labour Prime Minister blasted the holding of a new conference in Tehran on the subject of Holocaust, which the Iranian President has negated, saying “if it did took place, if it is true that the Europeans killed six millions of Jews, why then not sending the Jews from Palestine to places in Europe or in Alaska?”.

Iran Blocks BBC Persian Website-Body

This statement came after he had wowed to “wipe off” Israel from the map of the world.

Like its French and German partners, Britain, engaged in lengthy, fruitless negotiations with Tehran over Iran’s controversial nuclear activities, now is urging the Board of Directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency to send the Iranian issue to the Security Council of the United Nations.

The BBC says the level of traffic to the site from within Iran has dropped sharply over the last three days, adding that the closure of the site had started from small cities up to the Capital Tehran.

The BBC has expressed concern at the action and said it would be approaching the Iranian government at an official level about re-instating access of the Iranians to the site.

According to BBC sources, the Broadcasting Persian language site is the most popular of the BBC's non-English language websites, receiving about 30 million page impressions a month - about half of which are from inside Iran.

It is not clear if the filtering will be permanent, but many websites are routinely blocked in Iran.

BBC World Service radio broadcasts in English and Persian are being received by audiences in Iran as normal, as are the BBC's international online news services in English.

It is not clear if the filtering will be permanent, but many websites are routinely blocked in Iran.

Asked by the BBC’s correspondent in Tehran about the move, Mr. Mas’oud Fateh, a deputy to the Press Department of the Communication and Communication Technologies Ministry said the BBC Persian-language site had been blocked on order from the Committee for Defining the Filtering, a “chameleon” body created on decision from the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, which is chaired by President Ahmadi Nezhad with the task of finding and blocking all internet sites with materials not pleasing the Iranian authorities.

Made of representatives of the Intelligence, Islamic Guidance and Culture ministries and the Radio and Television, the Committee singles out all sites containing items considered as “anti-Islamic, anti-Iranian, insulting Islam, making propaganda for illegal organizations and parties etc..” and urges Internet Providers Services to remove the faulty sites, without ever providing explanation on its decisions.

The BBC’s Persian-language site started five years ago and after on orders of Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the “Guide” of the Islamic Republic, the Judiciary shut down more than 120 independent and pro-reforms publications since 2000 and then moved on the private internet sites and blogs, closing more than 20 internet sites and hundreds of blogs, some had wondered why the authorities had let the BBC operate it site? ENDS BBC PERSIAN WEBSITE CLOSED 24106


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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Iran Blocks BBC Persian Website-Main
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