Foreign Secretary David Miliband praises BBC’s Iranian service

July 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm 2 comments


by Dan Billingham

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has praised the BBC’s controversial new Iranian service.

The Persian-language satellite TV channel, accused by Iranian authorities of stoking post-election violence, was commended by Miliband for playing an “important independent role” in the crisis-struck state.

The Foreign Secretary explained: “Since its inception last year, it has established itself as an authoritative and independent reporter on that nation’s affairs, and it has a very wide following in Iran. It is important to say that although it receives public money, it receives no public instruction as to how it should behave or what it should report.”

These comments were among the firmest Miliband offered on Iran in the Commons Foreign Office questions session, a subject that was predominately debated in careful diplomatic tones.

Miliband summed up the government’s strategy for handling the situation by stating: “I certainly think we should be firm but not macho in the way we go about it, and that is what I shall try to do.”

The delicate diplomatic approach clearly did not find full favour on the backbenches.

Former Tory Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind decried the Iranian president by asking: “Has not President Ahmadinejad been revealed, not as a popular President who is governing with the consent of the people of Iran, but as a local despot who is sustained in power merely by the work of the militia and the police?” Miliband shirked this question by responding with his remarks on the BBC’s Farsi service.

Labour’s Denis MacShane also alerted the house that “President Ahmadinejad exports anti-Semitism, exports fundamentalist terrorism, that he may, if he gets nuclear weapons, export some of those, and that he also exports regional instability. We must be much firmer and actually call this gentleman for what he is.”

Shadow foreign secretary William Hague contributed to an unexpected flare-up in being accused by Miliband of airing inappropriate Europhobia after having complained about “the failure in the past to agree meaningful European sanctions with real bite on Iran on the issue of its nuclear programme”.

The Foreign Secretary countered that “the sanctions imposed by the EU as a result of Iran’s flouting of the United Nations Security Council go beyond, and well beyond in a number of respects, the requirements of the Security Council.”


Entry filed under: Commons. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. resul khodadadi  |  August 7, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    با عرض سلام خسته نباتشید بر خبر سازان جوان بی بی سی:
    من برای گرفتن اخبار روز ایران ودنیا از طریق اینترنت با مشکل مواجع شدم به طوری که حتی از طریق رادیو اینترنتی هم نمیشود به اخبار شما گوش داد و تمامی فیلتر ها که به ان دسترسی داشتم فیلتر شده است و چون دایم در صفر هستم به ماهواره دسرسی ندارم و فقط از طریق رایانه همراه خود به اخبار گوش میدم و رادیو فردا هم خلاصه اخبار را میگوید شما میتوانید نرم افزاری درست کنید که از طریق اینترنت به رادیو فارسی بی بی سی گوش داد یا نه

  • 2. اخبار ایران  |  September 21, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    […] Foreign Secretary David Miliband praises BBC’s Iranian service « i … 1 Jul 2009 … من برای گرفتن اخبار روز ایران ودنیا از طریق اینترنت با مشکل مواجع شدم به طوری که حتی از طریق رادیو اینترنتی هم نمیشود به اخبار شما گوش داد و ……/foreign-secretary-david-miliband-praises-bbcs-iranian-service/ – Cached – Similar […]


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