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Persian TV Channel Did Not Break Rules, British Media Regulator Says

This picture taken on September 22, 2018 in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz shows soldiers lying on the ground at the scene of an attack on a military parade.

Iran International, a private TV news channel broadcasting in Persian to Iran and based in London did not breach any rules, the British regulator Ofcom has ruled.

The channel was accused of breaking the broadcasting code by interviewing the spokesman for the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz, Yacoub Hor al-Tostani, who defended a terror attack last September in Ahvaz.

The group is a separatist movement, which also claimed responsibility for the attack during a military parade, which killed two dozen people.

Iran’s ambassador to the U.K. and others lodged a complaint to the media regulator and after a long investigation Ofcom has ruled that Iran International did not breach any rules.

Iran’s ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad tweeted March 26 that Ofcom’s decision “will be further pursued by our country’s embassy”, since the watchdog looked at the totality of Iran International’s coverage and did not take the live interview as the basis of its decision.

The Ofcom decision says that the channel provided strong overall context to the interview to “justify the potentially high level of offence” that al-Tostani’s remarks could have caused.

Ofcom further noted that the presenter of the program “clearly challenged his views and emphasized the violent nature of the attack” during the interview.