Iran Bans CNN, Citing Translation Error

By Brian 

> Update: 12:57pm: “Mohammad Hossein Khoshvaght, director-general of foreign press and media at the ministry, told The Associated Press that the ban followed a review of ‘past activities of CNN,’ not limited to Saturday’s speech. He would not elaborate. ‘We have decided to wait for their future coverage on Iran to make any further judgment’ on whether to lift the ban, he said.”

Reuters reports: “Iran on Monday banned CNN journalists from working there after the broadcaster misquoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Iran wanted nuclear weapons, the ISNA students news agency said.”

During President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s press conference on Saturday, the Farsi word for “technology” was apparently mistranslated as “weapons.” Yesterday posted the “corrected translation of Ahmadinejad’s comments on nuclear weapons and energy.”

AFX quotes a statement from the Iranian culture ministry: “Taking into account CNN’s actions contrary to professional ethics in the past years and their distortion of the president’s comments during his press conference on Saturday, the activities of the CNN journalist in Tehran will end and no journalists from CNN will be authorised to come to Iran.”

The BBC says Christiane Amanpour is currently in the country. The “mere fact she was granted a visa has drawn complaints from some hardline newspapers,” Middle East Online reports. “One newspaper also accused her of not adequately covering her head.”

Reuters notes: “CNN does not have a permanent bureau in Iran but a local journalist is a contributor to the network and visiting correspondents are occasionally given permission to enter the country on short assignments.”

> IRNA, Jan. 16: “Iran takes punitive measure against CNN for misquoting president”

> IRNA, Jan. 15: “Ahmadinejad’s remarks unprofessionally distorted by CNN”