A member of Iran’s parliament criticizing the state-controlled National Television has said, “This TV is not a media outlet, it is not national and does not belong to the people and does not reflect their views”.
Parvaneh Salhashouri in an interview with ILNA, a state-controlled news website has also said, “I personally do not know where [state TV] came from. It is some sort of an island that relays news about a certain group”.
Iran’s vast state broadcasting organization is controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office and its leadership in more than a decade has always supported the conservative and hardliner wing of the Islamic Republic establishment.
Following nationwide protests and unrest last week, state-controlled media and especially the television network are disseminating news, which often distort the events and make unsubstantiated allegations. All senior leaders follow one narrative regarding the unrest, saying protesters were foreign agents.
Salhashouri, who is a so-called reformist politician, does not directly mention the protests but says, “Now that almost all in the regime are in agreement, they are broadcasting programs unrelated to what people really think, and now they want to have debate programs”.
Salhashouri last week has criticized the gasoline price increase that led to protests, saying that for a long time parliament has had no real say in the country’s affairs and it would be better to shut it down.