Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The BBC ‘signed huge agreement with Iran’s mullahs’

Many thanks to the anonymous reader who found the story Iran's mullahs signed a huge agreement with BBC, in which one can read the following:
Iran will soon present its tourist attractions in a publicity campaign to be waged in the international and local television networks, said an official of Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Foundation (ICHTF) in Madrid Wednesday.

"The publicity campaign will be in the form of advertisements introducing cultural, historical and development attractions of Iran," said Deputy Head of ICHTF for Cultural and Communication Affairs Alireza Sajjadpour.

Talking to IRNA, he referred to BBC, CNN, Germany's ZDF, al-Jazeera and al-Arabia as the international TV networks selected for introducing the tourist sites.

"We have signed a huge agreement with BBC," he added. He, however, declined to cite the contracts' details.
Iran, we learn, is to present its tourist attractions in a publicity campaign in the form of advertisements, and the BBC is referred to — but the BBC sells no advertising, yet a “huge agreement” with it is cited.

What is the agreement in question? Why were no details given?

Most importantly, does this agreement undermine the BBC’s capacity to produce unbiased news reportage on Iran?

Given that the BBC itself has said nothing about a contract with Iran, one has to be careful in considering statements from the country and its media, statements which are sometimes outright lies.

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