Press TV, one of the Islamic Republic’s self-styled “news” outlets, is stung by a BBC program that labels it a “propaganda” organ.
“The latest episode of Panorama, the [BBC] network’s investigative program on current affairs, accused Iran of human rights abuses and accused Press TV of spreading Iranian propaganda, claims that analysts say were politically motivated,” Press TV complains.
“Over the years, the BBC and Panorama have angered many people due to their Iran coverage, but critics say the latest version of the show is part of a wider politically motivated plot targeting Iran,” Press TV says.
The Panorama program shows powerful testimony of Iranian torture and rape victims who described Press TV’s collaboration with Revolutionary Guard interrogators, a man forced to “confess” before a Press TV crew and whose video was broadcast on Press TV as propaganda (see photo), and a woman who was sentenced to death by stoning whom Press TV videotaped in a forced reenactment of her husband’s murder. (Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 of the video of the offending BBC program.)
Press TV is not known for issuing such complaints against Voice of America (VOA) broadcasting in Persian, though VOA has come under fire for staffing itself with un-vetted Press TV personnel. A US congressional panel recently held hearings on VOA’s programming problems, with a particular focus on its Iran-related broadcasts and Internet news.
Press TV complains that BBC reporting on Iran is, in its words, “based on accounts by people who are notoriously opposed to the Iranian government and system, and stated that ‘you can’t just base a program on a biased and prejudiced view.’” Press TV has not had the same objections to VOA and its Persian News Network (PNN), though an Iranian student leader testified to Congress that PNN blacklisted him and others opposed to the Islamic Republic, while PNN highlighted Iranians who favored accommodation toward the regime.
Last year, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran identified Press TV as being part of the Iranian regime’s intelligence apparatus, and that Press TV collaborated with human rights violators to publicize forced confessions of dissidents.