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Iran to Partially Lift Ban on BBC

BBC Persian is a popular news source in Iran. Photo taken by Stuart Pinfold. Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

BBC Persian is a popular news source in Iran, however it cannot operate inside the country. Photo taken by Stuart Pinfold. Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Iran's Tasnim news agency has reported an announcement by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance about lifting the ban on BBC operations inside of Iran. The Ministry is responsible for Iran's domestic and foreign press regulations.

The news comes in an interview a Ministry spokesperson gave to Tasnim, whereby they declared a group of Dutch-born BBC journalists will soon enter to country for a BBC World special coverage report. The spokesperson also announced that the decision has been made in consultation with the country's intelligence and police forces.

The Ministry later clarified in an interview with the Associated Press (AP) that the change would last temporarily only for BBC World's special coverage. The BBC also told AP that they had not heard from the Iranian government on the new decision.

BBC Persian is a popular satellite and online news source for many Iranians inside the country. BBC Persian service has been banned from operating inside Iran since 2009 after authorities accused BBC of inciting unrest during the 2009 Green Movement.

The BBC Persian and English websites are both blocked inside Iran. BBC Persian online was first blocked in 2006, and its broadcasts are viewed on illegal satellites.

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