Iranian authorities ban al-Arabiya reporter

The Teheran bureau chief for the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya news channel was banned Tuesday by Iranian authorities from working in the Islamic Republic. He was told to leave the country as soon as possible, the network said. Iranian officials have long complained that al-Arabiya's coverage of Iran is biased. The network has rejected the criticism, saying that it had always given Iranian officials the chance to take part in its programs. Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been rivals in the region and lately Saudi media has been playing up the Iranian Shiite threat to the predominantly Sunni Middle East. In a statement al-Arabiya released earlier on Tuesday, Fahas was quoted as saying that the decision to deport him from Iran was part of a "public campaign against al-Arabiya, orchestrated by some Iranian officials and pro-government media."