First Published: 2006-01-16

Iran bans CNN over nuclear translation

US news channel banned from Iran for having mistakenly quoted Ahmadinajed as saying his country is seeking nuclear weapons.


Middle East Online

Costly mistake in a critical time

TEHRAN - The US-based news channel CNN has been banned from working in Iran for having mistakenly quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying his country is seeking nuclear weapons, a government official said Monday.

During CNN's simultaneous translation of a press conference by Ahmadinejad Saturday, the president was quoted as saying that "we believe all nations are allowed to have nuclear weapons" and that the West should not "deprive us to have nuclear weapons".

The president was, however, using a Farsi word that meant "technology" and not "weapons" - in line with Iran's assertion that it only wants to generate atomic energy and not build bombs as alleged by the United Sates.

"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," a statement from the Iranian culture ministry said.

Iranian media said the channel had apologised to the Iranian government over the error, which came amid rapidly mounting tensions over the Islamic republic's disputed nuclear programme.

The country is facing the threat of being referred to the UN Security Council for resuming sensitive nuclear fuel research work which the West fears would give the clerical regime the know-how to build a bomb.

Iran insists such work is entirely legal given it has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has branded nuclear weapons "un-Islamic".

CNN does not have a permanent correspondent based in Tehran due to previous problems with Iranian authorities, notably several years ago when it broadcast images of an illegal party in Tehran where young people flouted regulations on dress and mixed with the opposite sex.

The channel's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, is presently in Iran for a short visit. But the mere fact she was granted a visa has drawn complaints from some hardline newspapers.

One newspaper also accused her of not adequately covering her head.

In April 2005, the Qatar-based Arabic language news channel Al-Jazeera was thrown out of Iran on accusations it was stirring up ethnic violence in its coverage of clashes between ethnic Arabs and security forces in southwestern Iran.


New report accuses Syria of chemical attack in Qmenas village

For second day, Iraq forces clash with ISIS in Kirkuk

Battles rage in Yemen despite three-day truce

Turkey PM warns EU: Turkey has alternatives!

Food crisis reaching critical levels north of South Sudan

Turkey hits Kurdish group in Syria again

Kremlin aims to 'liberate' Syria with Assad in power

Egypt court upholds 20-year sentence for Morsi

Islamic Jihad stages show of force in Gaza

UN says 'crimes' in Aleppo are 'of historic proportions'

IS sniper kills Iraqi journalist in Kirkuk

US official says coalition should target IS in Raqa after Mosul

Moscow extends Aleppo ceasefire

Italy PM says officials should have voted against UNESCO Jerusalem resolution

Syrian ‘Toy Smuggler’ accused of fraud

UN: IS may use civilians as human shields in Mosul

Armed men attack refugee boat off Libya

US says will work with Turkey to deal IS 'lasting defeat'

Moscow ‘highly concerned’ at jihadists’ refusal to leave Aleppo

Four Palestinians arrested by their security forces for settlement visit

Mauritania president says no change to two-term limit

UN delays Aleppo evacuations due to lack of security assurances

Oman denies reports of arms smuggling to Yemen

Israel looking to buy three more German submarines

83 migrants rescued off Cyprus

Under pressure in Mosul, IS fighters attack Kirkuk

Air strikes hit Yemen rebels despite ceasefire

US officials: Iran boosting arms sales to Huthis via Oman

Iraq forces make gains against IS near Mosul

Arab coalition accuses Yemen rebels of breaching truce

Italian PM blocks EU sanctions threat against Russia over Aleppo

Pentagon chief in Turkey for talks on tensions with Iraq

Israeli occupation troops kill Palestinian teenager

Iraqis flee IS-held Mosul for war-torn Syria

Five years after his death, Kadhafi's 'Green Book' is ridiculed in Libya

Iraq issues warrant for former governor of Mosul

EU leaders threaten sanctions against Assad allies

Syria army urges residents to evacuate Aleppo during ceasefire

British warships shadow Syria-bound Russian naval force

Turkey unexpectedly keeps interest rate steady

British PM urges united EU response to Russia over Syria 'atrocities'

UN gets ‘green light’ from all parties for Aleppo evacuations

Iran president: we must be hospitable to foreign businessmen

British Al-Jazeera reporter freed in Somalia

Turkish planes raid US-backed Kurdish militias