Iran to fight satellite programmes with private TV
October 2, 2000, Teheran (dpa) - Iran plans to fight foreign satellite
programmes with the establishment of a private television network, the
daily Tehran Times reported Monday.
Head of state-run broadcasting, Ali Larijani, has written a letter
to the senate-like Guardian Council asking the conservative body about
the possibility of setting up a private television network, the daily said.
Tehran Times further quoted communication experts as saying that the
private network would be able to confront foreign satellite televisions
``which show immoral and obscene programmes and are among the major tools
of cultural aggression''.
The parliament in 1995 - at that time still dominated by conservatives
- approved a bill banning use of satellite dishes for foreign television
programmes. But a large number of people have camouflaged dishes on the
roofs and receive the programmes through digital and analogue tuners.
Several Iranian officials however called for a revision of the bill
and said that the ``Western cultural invasion'' cannot be confronted by
force but through cultural means.
State-run television has five channels and has in the last three years
improved its programmes in an effort to confront the satellite programmes.
Many satellite programmes are in foreign languages and therefore not
understandable for many Iranians. A Persian programme by Iranian artists
in exile in California started last April but according to satellite dealers,
the initial enthusiasm among the Iranians gradually faded due to what they
term as repetitious programmes.