Iran denies western reporters visas to cover revolution anniversary

Handful of foreign correspondents still in Iran ordered not to report opposition protests

Iran has done all it can to limit coverage of celebrations of this year’s anniversary of the Islamic revolution, using lessons learned over the past eight months of sporadic protests since the disputed ¬≠presidential election. Western journalists, including from the Guardian, have largely been denied visas to enter the country. The internet and phones have been interfered with. The few foreign correspondents resident in Tehran operate under severe restrictions. Iranian officials claim that more than 200 foreign media were “cleared” to cover the anniversary, but minders from the ministry of Islamic guidance escorted selected journalists to Thursday’s main official rally at Tehran’s Azadi square and warned them not to report opposition protests. Exiled Iranian journalists had urged their foreign colleagues not to go, to avoid presenting “a caricature of the Iranian nation for your television cameras”. Opposition websites are probably the best source of news about Iran and there is regular praise for the BBC Persian TV satellite channel, which depends largely on information sent in by viewers

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/11/iran-revolution-anniversary-media-restrictions

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