Station banned after misquoting president
CNN was banned from operating in Iran on Monday after misquoting hardline Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as saying Tehran wanted to build nuclear weapons during a press conference on Saturday.
Ahmedinejad had, in fact, been defending his country’s right to nuclear energy.
CNN acknowledged the error and apologized on all its platforms, including CNN Intl., CNN USA and other CNN outlets.
But the Ministry of Culture & Islamic Guidance declared on Iranian state-run TV that the ban would run until further notice.
The CNN Group issued a statement saying it is “very disappointed” by the decision.
Though the satcaster does not have a full-time bureau in Tehran, it does employ a local stringer as well as Iranian-raised chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.
Ban comes just as Amanpour had visited the country to report on the nuclear issue, which has pushed Iran to the brink of referral to the U.N. Security Council.
Boycott, which the Culture Ministry’s director general of foreign press and media, Mohammad Hossein Khoshvaght, said had followed a review “of CNN’s past activities,” comes soon after the hardline Ahmedinejad outlawed Western movies and music.
Ban is the second to hit an international news org in Iran. In April, Al-Jazeera was tossed from the country on accusations of spreading unrest among the minority Arab population in the Khuzistan province. That ban still has not been lifted.