Happy birthday ayatollah?

Is BBC Persian TV a mere gift to mark the Islamic Republic's 30th?


Happy birthday ayatollah?
by Peyvand Khorsandi

In coming weeks, the Islamic Republic, like anyone turning 30, will be wondering what it has done with its life and what its prospects are. The fate it has dealt the scores of political opponents it has liquidised, incarcerated and tortured to consolidate its rule will probably not feature in its reflections. What BBC Persian TV holds in store for it, however, may feature.

Funded by the UK Foreign Office – to the tune of £15m ($22m) a year – PTV, which launched this week, has assembled a veritable army of newly trained journalists (some 100 of its 150-strong staff are in editorial) that looks set to knock head-on rival VOA off its perch.

The question is, with the mullahs having found a friend in Channel 4 – which invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to broadcast a 15-minute message on Christmas Day – will BBC Persian TV also be their friend? Or will it, as the mullahs claim, be a "suspicious and illegal channel working against the interests of the Islamic Republic" devoted to "espionage and psychological warfare"?

Who better to ask than Behrouz Afagh, head of Asia and Pacific at the BBC World Service and the person in charge of BBC PTV. Does the conspiracy theory “it's the Brits wot done it”, immortalised in Iraj Pezeshkzad's novel Dear Uncle Napoleon, still hold true? Does he attend chest-slapping sessions for the Queen at the Foreign Office? The friendly 54-year-old BBC veteran, who sports media-trendy specs and a warm smile, is keen to respond.

“One of the first programmes you will see on this channel,” he says, “is a one-hour documentary Kar Kare Inglisazs which looks at why Iranians have got this suspicion about Britain”. (Since we spoke it has been broadcast and it has to be said is no must-see.)

Pointing to the fact that the BBC is credited with funnelling propaganda into Iran as part of the UK’s bid to depose Iran's popular prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in the early 1950s, Mr Afagh says: “Britain is not of the country it was 50 years ago. Nor is Iran. The notion that a country like Britain could instigate a coup d’état of some sort in Iran today is preposterous.”

Things are different now, he insists. “Britain does not have the power, the influence, the wealth, if you like the political nous of 50, 60 or 100 years ago.” While the UK’s power has waned, he says, the World Service has evolved. (That its interactive show Nowbat-e Shoma – Your Turn – promises a debate on polygamy next week, however, shows evolving of a different sort has still to occur, unless you are an Afghan warlord, in which case it might come a across as cutting-edge.)

“The BBC has been broadcasting in Iran since 1940,” says Professor Annabelle Sreberny, who teaches international communication at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies and is co-author of Small Media, Big Revolution: Communication, Culture, and the Iranian Revolution. “The relationship between the Foreign Office and the BBC World Service has gone through different phases from overt attempts to structure its content to a hands-off approach.”

OK but what then is the Foreign Office's ultimate objective? “I'm not the FO, I can't explain,” says Mr Afagh. “The understanding is if Britain has an international channel – radio or television – which produces the highest quality programming that is impartial and objective, then that is good thing. It contributes to better understanding in the world, a better flow of information and brings some credit to British society."

Professor Sreberny agrees. “The BBC aims to offer a UK perspective on global issues,” she says. In her view, the launch represents an act of “British public diplomacy” that is "much more subtle" than BBC Persian radio was as the height of its notoriety. "Its impact will be a slow one," she says, "because in Iran there is a welter of channels competing and the BBC is one voice among many -- and PTV faces huge problems, not least in obtaining original footage of people and events within Iran."

So there we have it – no chest-slapping at the FO. “I’ve worked as a journalist in the World Service for 25-odd years,” says Mr Afagh. “I can't remember a single time – a single time – anyone has come to me and said you 'must' broadcast this or you 'must not'."

Mr Afagh adds: “Very often what we broadcast is in direct opposition to UK foreign policy. In the World Service we do interview the Taliban. We do interview people who are completely against the British presence in Afghanistan, they've got anti-British views, and they get on air. They are challenged but they get on air. I'm not so sure whether Foreign Office would like that. It cannot and does not say 'you shouldn't'.”

Is it true, I ask Mr Afagh, that PTV favours hiring journalists who are on friendly terms with the Islamic regime – that is, who can travel to Iran freely, effectively muting the voices of the exiled opposition?

“We've got all kinds of people,” he says. “We do want to have a correspondent in Iran. We do want the correspondent to have permission to work in Iran. We have been asking Iranian officials for years to allow us to have a correspondent in Iran. What we say is ‘We are not against you, we are not for you’ – the BBC does not have a position for or against anybody. This is what we're doing and it's perfectly legitimate.”

The channel’s job, he says, is not “regime bashing or opposition bashing – there are no ‘no-go’ areas as far as news is concerned.”

"VOA offers very little other than endlessly haranguing the regime," says Professor Sreberny. "If Iranian-TV viewers are subject to propaganda, I don’t think propaganda coming from the other direction is all that helpful.”

"The press [in Iran] has become more open now, although not as open as it could be,” she says. “When the government feels insecure it closes a newspaper or imprisons a blogger."

On the subject of the blogosphere, which PTV is setting out to embrace with its multimedia output, she believes the point is whether PTV “can find space for voices that aren’t being heard”.

"There is a huge amount of debate in Iran, especially in the blogosphere – remember that Iran is paradoxical in that it is an authoritarian state yet a wide range of voices are debating on the internet.

Funded by the FO or not, the corporation’s culture of listening to the views of the audience is already in evidence. Last week PTV organised a meeting of bloggers to court their views on a test-run of one of its interactive shows.

Will PTV turn out to be a birthday cake for the Islamic Republic as its detractors fear? Who knows. But one thing is clear – the proof will be in the pudding.

“I would say watch, read, listen,” says Mr Afagh, “does it sound independent, impartial, accurate – judge us by that.”

"I am a believer in empirical analysis,” says Professor Sreberny. “Let’s give the channel a chance and see what it does."


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The Axis of Drivle...

by faryarm on

US Infotainment 24/7 "News" Channels...

The Axis of Drivle... 



by An Iranian Republican (not verified) on



Please take a little time to look at this 30 second clip. I am interested to know your opinions regarding it. I view it as a clear outline of the Iranian regime and how B. Hussein Obama will treat it differently than President Bush has.


Are these quotes representative of Sen. Barack Obama?
If they are, do you support these views?

Whatever you think of this video, it is a clear example of how Sen. McCain would have had an offensive foreign policy platform, similar to President Bush's, as opposed to Obama's defensive one.

In my opinion this is what B. Hussein Obama believes. I disagree with him, and I disagree strongly, but I will not insult him. Many people, including myself, view him as under-qualified to be president. Especially when taking his 'present' votes in the IL state senate into account. He is a respectable human being, especially because he admitted his mistakes on the O'Reilly Factor, but so did Senator McCain. Sen. Obama's social policies are very out-of-touch with the rest of us living in America who are pro-life and anti-gay marriage. Obama opposed something similar to the Born Alive Infants Act in the IL State Senate. Also, Obama opposed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban that President Bush supported and proudly passed. Obama is for the radical redefining of marriage. I just hope Obama will not go through with his promise of ending President Bush's prodigious tax-cuts and fixing loopholes such as cell phone taxes and internet taxes, will be sure to keep our low inflation and HIGH GDP growth rate.

My final message:
Thank You President Bush

Vote Huckabee 2012

P.S. : In case you have time, these two clips are also excellent.




The standard!

by Ajam (not verified) on

I personally take any BBC "lie" over the American media crap at any time! There is no mainstream American broadcaster (save the marginalized PBS) that could come close to BBC in terms of independence, quality and standards! In fact BBC was one of the first members of the English language media who exposed the lies and deceptions used by the Bush-Blair access in white-washing the criminal nature of the Iraqi invasion.

In July 2003, BBC practically took Tony Blair's government to court over its role in the suicide of a British scientist (who had confessed to manipulating reports used as pretext for the Iraq war under pressure) by revealing his identity as the BBC's source. Dr. Kelly, a chemist working as an Iraq's WMD inspector for British government, had revealed in an interview with BBC that he was forced to "sex up" the report in order to make the case for Iraq war appear stronger!

Meanwhile, there was not a single American broadcaster to provide an alternative view to the charade presented by Bush as justification for invasion of Iraq, let alone a serious challenge! All they did, was to say "how high?" when they were told to jump!



by hamvatan12 (not verified) on

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IS NEEDED to educate the public about how dirty the british are!!!!
I grew up in ahvaz and my grandfather has direct evidence from his tenure in the oil company on how the british (and carter) were behind overthrowing the shah....
i absolutely detest the british, carter and that freak brezenzki- I wanted to throw up when I saw his nasty grill in the white house "lunch" last week. I don't know how he sleeps at night- having the blood of all those officers on his hands and being responsible for the destruction of our beautiful vatan!!!!
and to top it off- obama has that b****rd brezinski as an advisor!!!! as if he hasn't caused enough destruction in iran already.

all I know is that if there is a hell, it will very crowded with the likes of these morons!

javid iran and may god free our country soon!

Jahanshah Javid

And yet

by Jahanshah Javid on

... we will all listen and watch the BBC. Either we're stupid or we have the intellect and common sense to CHOOSE what we consider the most professional news source there is. We just hate to admit it.


Excerpt from the book "A

by sickofiri (not verified) on

Excerpt from the book "A Century of War" by William Engdhall, and the role of BBC Persian:


In November 1978, President Carter named the Bilderberg group's George Ball, another member of the Trilateral Commission, to head a special White House Iran task force under the National Security Council's Brzezinski. Ball recommended that Washington drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the fundamentalistic Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. Robert Bowie from the CIA was one of the lead 'case officers' in the new CIA-led coup against the man their covert actions had placed into power 25 years earlier.

Their scheme was based on a detailed study of the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism, as presented by British Islamic expert, Dr. Bernard Lewis, then on assignment at Princeton University in the United States. Lewis's scheme, which was unveiled at the May 1979 Bilderberg meeting in Austria, endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind Khomeini, in order to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerbaijani Turks, and so forth. The chaos would spread in what he termed an 'Arc of Crisis,' which would spill over into Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.

The coup against the Shah, like that against Mossadegh in 1953, was run by British and American intelligence, with the bombastic American, Brzezinski, taking public 'credit' for getting rid of the 'corrupt' Shah, while the British characteristically remained safely in the background.

During 1978, negotiations were under way between the Shah's government and British Petroleum for renewal of the 25-year old extraction agreement. By October 1978, the talks had collapsed over a British 'offer' which demanded exclusive rights to Iran's future oil output, while refusing to guarantee purchase of the oil. With their dependence on British-controlled export apparently at an end, Iran appeared on the verge of independence in its oil sales policy for the first time since 1953, with eager prospective buyers in Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere. In its lead editorial that September, Iran's Kayhan International stated:

In retrospect, the 25-year partnership with the [British Petroleum] consortium and the 50-year relationship with British Petroleum which preceded it, have not been satisfactory ones for Iran … Looking to the future, NIOC [National Iranian Oil Company] should plan to handle all operations by itself.

London was blackmailing and putting enormous economic pressure on the Shah's regime by refusing to buy Iranian oil production, taking only 3 million or so barrels daily of an agreed minimum of 5 million barrels per day. This imposed dramatic revenue pressures on Iran, which provided the context in which religious discontent against the Shah could be fanned by trained agitators deployed by British and U.S. intelligence. In addition, strikes among oil workers at this critical juncture crippled Iranian oil production.

As Iran's domestic economic troubles grew, American 'security' advisers to the Shah's Savak secret police implemented a policy of ever more brutal repression, in a manner calculated to maximize popular antipathy to the Shah. At the same time, the Carter administration cynically began protesting abuses of 'human rights' under the Shah.

British Petroleum reportedly began to organize capital flight out of Iran, through its strong influence in Iran's financial and banking community. The British Broadcasting Corporation's Persian-language broadcasts, with dozens of Persian-speaking BBC 'correspondents' sent into even the smallest village, drummed up hysteria against the Shah. The BBC gave Ayatollah Khomeini a full propaganda platform inside Iran during this time. The British government-owned broadcasting organization refused to give the Shah's government an equal chance to reply. Repeated personal appeals from the Shah to the BBC yielded no result. Anglo-American intelligence was committed to toppling the Shah.

The Shah fled in January, and by February 1979, Khomeini had been flown into Tehran to proclaim the establishment of his repressive theocratic state to replace the Shah's government.

Reflecting on his downfall months later, shortly before his death, the Shah noted from exile,

I did not know it then – perhaps I did not want to know – but it is clear to me now that the Americans wanted me out. Clearly this is what the human rights advocates in the State Department wanted … What was I to make of the Administration's sudden decision to call former Under Secretary of State George Ball to the White House as an adviser on Iran? … Ball was among those Americans who wanted to abandon me and ultimately my country.[1][1]...


Going Forward

by Rooh e Mosadeq (not verified) on

I would like to note that in the age of information and globalisation there is one one way going forward and thats absolute Honesty, Dignity and Universal Principles of Ethics.... Ref to Saadi, Hafez, Nezami, Molavi etc.

Gone those days that one can hide their true intention behind friendly faces... and thats way you have to be absolute honest otherwise any cruel intention will be revealed sooner or later....

There is no place for hypocrites and double faces in our todays world and specially in Persia as our core values is based on straightforwardness and justice...

I hope this raise an alarm for those sick minded who think they can carry on like this for ever....


A century of War; MUST READ

by truce (not verified) on



"'This is the only accurate account I have seen of what really happened with the price of oil in 1973. I strongly recommend reading it.' Sheikh Zaki Yamani, former Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia 'I recommend this book to all who wish to know how the world is really run, what are the systems behind the sub-systems we perceive in the daily media, and what are the antecedents of the present global political dilemmas.' Dr Frederick Wills, former Foreign Minister, Guyana 'For those truly interested about how the world economy functions, this book will be greatly useful. The book treats especially well the political goals of Britain, a thread in modern history all too often overlooked.' Stephen J. Lewis, economist, City of London '... one of the most readable books I have ever seen. It will shock people, but it is needed. William Engdahl has found a common thread that ties hundreds of events which, at first glance, appear to be unassociated.' Leon D. Richardson, Far East Financial columnist, industrialist, advisory board, Sloan School of Management, Massachussetts Institute of Technology"

This review is from: A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Paperback)
I first ran across this book referenced in a footnote about three years ago and tried to track it down. First I tried to purchase it, but found that it was out of print and used copies were going for $100.00+ on the internet. I found this curious since it was relatively recent (1993) and, given its topic, was certainly of tremendous interest to US readers, even before the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Gulf War II. I was fortunate to find it in my university library and have since read it several times.
I am tempted to go 'on and on' about this book, especially since it is not easily available for people to read. Nor does anyone seem to feel that they can (or are able to?) republish what should be a 'best seller' in the current geopolitical climate and circumstances. Engdahl, whose personal background includes engineering and law (Princeton), working in Texas oil industry, and international economics (University of Stockholm), does a penetrating and eloquent job of sorting out the complex web that connects the controlling interests of international politics with the goals and objectives of global oil and financial interests, these having merged in the last century into the powerful and dominant hegemony of an Anglo-American consortium.

There are so many revelations that are so well documented that one has to slow down and completely reorientate his or her conception of and attitude toward recent history. His tone is neither particularly vindictive nor is it conspiratorial. It looks at people and events and provides plausible motives and methods that are not part of the conventional awareness. For example, (fact) the British navy decided in the late 19th century to change their primary fuel source from coal to oil, thereby (objective) needing to secure access to oil reserves, basically in perpetuity. (result) British agreements for oil resources with the Sheikh of Kuwait date from 1899. (fact) Oil then comes to supplant coal as the primary energy source for all of the industrializing world, and a decade later Germany threatens to become the leading industrialized nation in Europe and (objective) needs a secure source of oil, so they begin construction on the Berlin to Baghdad railway intending to capitalize on agreements to import Iraqi oil. (question) How does Britain meet this emerging geopolitical threat. (objective) Block Germany's access to Middle East oil. (result) Curiously WWI begins with an out-of-the-way assassination in Croatia that just happens to occur near the route of that railway. War ensues and not only is the B-to-B railway cut off, but Germany loses all colonial power in the Middle East.

Shortly after WWI the leaders of the seven major western oil companies meet and agree to not compete with each other but to cooperate, and in 1928 drew up the Red Line agreement that gave virtually control of virtually all Middle East oil to the Anglo-American cartel. Even France's portion was minimalized to Turkish reserves. The Anglo-American consortium came to be known as the Seven Sisters and over the course of the ensuing decades become more and more infused with global banking and financial interestes, i.e., Rockefeller, J.P.Morgan, the Warburgs, the Rotheschilds, Brown Harriman, etc., coming to dominate the world economy by controlling the primary energy source. It is "all about oil" and has been since the turn of the century.

Engdahl's references are extensive and substantiate his disturbing interpretation of history, like the intentional suppression of the German Mark after WWI and the intentional manipulation of the OPEC oil embargo of the 1970s as a premise to artificially inflate global energy costs (a Bilderberg target objective), thereby making BritPetr North Sea oil exploration efforts solvent and bankrupting the debt burdened Third World


پیوند خان داشتیم ؟

نوکر انگلیسا (not verified)

حالا بی‌ بی‌ سی‌ به شما کاری نداده باید ازش بد بگی ؟ اما فکر کنم با این مقاله‌ای که اینجا نوشتی با لاخره یه جای دستو بند کنن. بگو بابا جون اینقدر متلک بار شون نکنه درست میشه.


بی بی سی و نگاهی به تاریخ مبارزه انگلیس با آمریکا در ایران

امیر کبیر در حال ورق زدن تاریخ جنایات انگلیس در ایران (not verified)

سوزاندن و بد نام کردن آمریکا در ایران:

عرض کنم میرزا ابوالحسن ایلچی ملقب به ایلچی اولین دیپلمات ایرانی است که به آمریکا سفر میکند.

این نخستین گام ایجاد رابطه با آمریکا بود که توسط امیر کبیر آغاز گردید. امید امیر کبیر کمک آمریکا برای ساختن نیروی دریائی ایران بود، که از بوشهر آغاز گردید و بعد آمدن آقای "سیمور" بعنوان نماینده آمریکا و تقاضای سیمور از وزارت امور خارجه بدین مضمون:

"...اگرچه دولت آمریکا با دولت انگلیس هم عهد میباشند، لکن هر دو علیه یکدیگر افکارهای دیگر دارند، استدعا میشود جزئیات روابط ایران و آمریکا را محرمانه نگهدارید."

حالا این مطلب بماند که آمریکادر دهه اخیر و زمان بوش پدر و پسر در ظاهر منکر آنستکه دشمن اصلی او در خاورمیانه انگلستان است و نه جاسوس دستپرورده آنها اوساما بن لادن. ولی در خفا کاملا به این امر آگاه، لیکن کنترل امور از دست آمریکا خارج شده و فساد اثنی عشری ساخت انگلستان ایران را به قعر جهل دینی سوق داده است.

ولی عنوان این گفتار آن بود که سوزاندن اموال آمریکائی در ایران پدیده جدیدی نیست.

آری، با گذشت زمان در 1901 سفارت آمریکا در ایران افتتاح یافت و تا آنزمان انگلستان حامی منافع آمریکا در ایران بود و همانطور که حدس زدید سپردن گوسفندان بود به دست گرگ درنده.!

بعد نماینده آمریکا آقای "شوستر" به ایران آمد که از همان ابتدا با بی اعتنائی به سفرای روس و انگلیس دشمنی آنان را بر انگیخت و چون ملاقاتی نیز با پیروان فرقه بهائیت در ایران داشت، انگلستان از این فرصت استفاده کرد و به بدنام کردن شوستر درمیان ایرانیان متعصب و قشری اقدام کرد.

این شروع و آغاز افول نفوذ آمریکا در ایران بود و بعد از مدتی با فشار انگلیس و اولتیماتوم روس ، رئیس وزرا شوستر را معزول کرد ولی شوستر مقاومت نشان داد و نپذیرفت. و لی دولت آمریکا مرتکب بزرگترین خطای خود در ایران شد و آن فراخواندن شوستر بود و نشاندادن ضعف در مقابل انگلستان، که هنوز هم دارد چوب آنرا میخورد.

بعد ها با آمدن آقای "کالدول" به عنوان وزیر مختار آمریکا در ایران که خود یک فراماسونر بود کار اساسی انجام نگرفت و سپس آمدن آقای "میلیسپا" بجای شوستر و تقاضای مشارکت در نفت شمال نیز شکستی بود برای آمریکا و بقول معروف قوز بالا قوز در 1924 بود که سرگرد آمریکائی آقای "ایمبری" که از سقاخانه ای مشغول عکس گرفتن بود، توسط جیره خواران انگلیس جلوی سقاخانه کشته شد و بدن تکه تکه او در همانجا مدفون شد.

این واقعه اسف انگیز روابط ایران و آمریکا را مدتها تیره کرد و خواستم خدمت هموطنان جوان و عاقل عرض کنم که این سوزاندن تصویر آقای "اوباما" درست ادامه همان مبارزه مستقیم انگلستان با نفوذ آمریکا در ایران است و اگر تاریخ را مطالعه کنید در روزهای انقلاب فاسد اسلامی و هنگام سقوط هلیکوپتر نظامی آمریکا در طوس باری دیگر جیره خواران انگلیس با اجساد سربازان آمریکائی چه کردند؟ بله درست حدس زدید آنها را اول با چوب و سیخ تکه تکه کردند و بعد آتش زدند.

هدف منزوی کرده آمریکا در خاور میانه است و امریکا با بدام افتادن در ورطه جنگ خانمانسوز خاورمیانه خود را به ورطه و گرداب ورشکستگی مالی فروبرد و راه بسیار صعب العبوری را در خاورمیانه در پیش دارد.

شروع برنامه های جدید بی بی سی و خط محاصره سمعی و بصری انگلستان بدور ایران شروع کشمکش مخوف و خطرناکی در کشور عزیر ما ایران خواهد بود.

بنده از جمیع ایرانیان چه در خارج و یا داخل ایران استدعا میکنم این جهل رایج و مقایسه گفتارها وافشاگری ها را با آن دائی جان مادر قحبه (که خود زائیده و گائیده سفارت انگلستان است) بخاطر آزادی ایران کنار بگذارند و به اصل مطالب توجه کنند.

آینده بسیار تاریکی در انتظار مامیباشد. از همین امروز مبارزات آشکار و پنهان خود را با این عجوزه کثیف و جنایتکار تاریخ یعنی دولت انگلیس و عوامل آنها شروع کنید.

ترحم بر پلنگ تیز دندان
ستمکاری بود بر گوسفندان

16 ژانویه مطابق با 19 محرم المبارک
فین کاشان
محمد تقی فراهانی ملقب به امیر کبیر


British Foreign Policy...

by faryarm on