Iran shuns Al-Arabiya satellite channel

Teheran says network should be dealt with forcefully due to "opposition campaigns." (The Media Line)

September 1, 2008 14:31
1 minute read.
Iran shuns Al-Arabiya satellite channel

Khomeini 224.88. (photo credit: AP)

The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite channel should be dealt with forcefully because of its so-called "opposition campaigns," an Iranian member of parliament said on Sunday. MP Jawwad Jahanghir Zadeh, a member of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign relations committee, said Iran could not remain silent, and that "negative" steps should be taken against the channel. The Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry should take a clear stance towards the channel's recent behavior, Zadeh told the Iranian news agency IRNA. Zadeh's referred to a recent report aired by the channel about Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 revolution, but did not say what it was about the broadcast that Teheran found offensive. He said it was wrong that a news channel should broadcast what Zadeh called opposition campaigns against a country's honor, and then be flexible with them,. The lawmaker suggested the channel's offices in Iran be closed down and its employees' activities restricted. Al-Arabiya broadcasts out of the United Arab Emirates and is a pan-Arab channel airing to the Middle East. The channel started broadcasting in 2003 and is one of Al-Jazeera's fiercest rivals. The fact that the channel is Saudi-owned and has been accused of taking a pro-Saudi line could be a factor in the current standoff between the channel and Teheran. The Shi'ite Islamic republic is at odds with the strictly Sunni kingdom over its cooperation with the United States. There is also general tension between Iran and its neighbors because of Teheran's nuclear program. When asked about censorship measures that could be taken against Al-Arabiya, Zadeh said the parliament would spare nothing in defending Khomeini and the current supreme leader Ali Khamenei. However, if a bill were presented to parliament on this matter, it would take a long time for the bill to go through, he stated.

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