Iran gives Reuters news agency chop over ‘ninjas’ story

Iran has banned the Reuters news agency after it described a group of female martial arts practitioners as “assassins” in a report, officials say.

The video showed a group of Iranian women in the city of Karaj training in ninjutsu, a martial art derived from Japan’s 15th-century ninja mercenaries.

The initial headline spoke of “Iran’s assassins”, but was quickly corrected.

Some of the women reportedly threatened to sue Reuters for libel.

Iran’s culture ministry said it had indefinitely suspended the news agency’s permit to operate in Iran, state news agency Irna reported on Monday.

“The decision was taken following the production of a video clip by this news agency’s video department branding some Iranian female athletes who practice ninjutsu as terrorists,” ministry official Mohammad Javad Aghajari said.

The 11 members of staff at Reuters’ Tehran bureau have been asked to return their media cards.


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