Media Meddling


The Iranian government has opened a criminal investigation into 152 current and former BBC Persian journalists on charges of “conspiracy against national security”.

October 25 2017

Where is the total outrage from the BBC, from Labour, from all those ‘inside the Tory party against Boris’ [Sarah Montague not mentioning they are pro-EU Tories] about these 152 BBC employees?  There came  none.  Only one ex-BBC employee gets their interest…one whom they think can be exploited to topple Boris…and now Gove.  Funny that.

The BBC tells us that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was merely a small, insignificant admin cog in its Media Action machine…..who can doubt that?

But Iran says it has arrested her for her employment by the BBC’s Media Action and its role in trying to subvert and topple the Iranian regime and links to the BBC’s Persian Service.

The BBC makes no mention of these charges in any of its news bulletins or programmes.

Iran’s Reign of Terror can seem a long way away. And sometimes not. There are plenty of Iranians here. They’ll all talk. But nobody wants to go on the record. The fear is manifest. BBC Persian TV and Voice of America carry regular reports of rape, torture and murder against opponents of the regime. Neda was just the start.
So, what happened to change everything?
“It’s the pictures, stupid. The impact of TV news lies in the pictures. Doesn’t matter if it’s Iran, or wherever. Same story.”

Here’s what Media Action tells you about its role in a recruitment advert, here for an accountant….

Job Introduction

BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international development charity, which uses media and communications to help reduce poverty and support people to understand their rights. We do this through partnering with civil society, media and others to produce creative programmes and other outputs which inform and engage audiences on key development issues. We also strengthen the media sector through building professional capacity and infrastructure. We focus on health, governance and rights, and resilience and humanitarian response. 

Sounds rather innocuous but those fine sounding words conceal a somewhat more dangerous objective….to subvert and undermine regimes that don’t match the liberal, democratic standards that the BBC and others want them to by broadcasting into countries such as Iran information the regimes don’t want the population to have…and of course doing this by using Iranian exile journalists.

Here’s an ex-BBC senior journalist telling you how effective the BBC was at encouraging revolt and uprising especially in 2009….the time when Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was supposedly involved with BBC Media Action…

The Power of TV News: An Insider’s Perspective on the Launch of BBC Persian TV in the Year of the Iranian Uprising

We were in Tehran to help prepare the launch of a new BBC Persian TV channel. Naturally enough Mr. Kallur said “no,” without actually ever saying “no” to our newsgathering presence in Tehran. All very Iranian.

“Well, of course you’re from MI6. You’re a spy.” … “Pass the pomegranate juice, please.”

The accusation was made to the director of the BBC’s World Service, Nigel Chapman. He and I and the BBC’s senior Persian analyst, Sadegh Saba, were sitting in the headquarters of the Iranian President, Mahmud Ahmadinejad. His head of communications and senior advisor, Mehdi Kallur, didn’t beat about the bush.

“The West has meddled for decades. We just don’t trust what you’re up to.”

And yet, there were signs of hope. A sea of satellite TV dishes dotted the rooftops. And in nearly every home I went into family and friends were watching the U.S. Voice of America TV, avidly. The chest‐beating chanting of “Death to America,” I also discovered, was nonsense — a carefully choreographed clique drummed up for special occasions. Virtually every Iranian I spoke to really liked America — even loved it. They might not trust it, but they love the culture: California, coast and cars, and what they see in the movies.

On the face of it, though, as Brits, and therefore junior players in this saga, the BBC was seemingly up the Persian Gulf without a paddle. It was the end of 2007. No staff, no reporters in Tehran, and seemingly no audience.

Roll forward 18 months to the uprising of June 2009. “I went to bed in one country, and woke up in another.” The memorable words of (UK) Channel 4 News reporter, Lindsey Hillsum. Hundreds of thousands were out on the streets in Tehran and cities across Iran, disputing the “stolen election.” Joe Klein, reporting the Iranian election in Tehran for Time magazine and CNN, describes it like this: “Anarchy, total chaos, and everyone watching the BBC.”

“The shooting of Neda Soltan and the killings and beatings that followed changed everything” according to Karim Sadjadpour at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace.  “Those picutres were seen by everyone in Iran, mostly on the BBC,, but also on Voice of America or CNN. And make no mistake, the very existence of BBC TV was a critical factor.”

Read the full article here.

You can judge the BBC’s interest in Iran from this site…even though the BBC is banned in Iran it still seeks to influence events there with its broadcasting….you can see the various strategies used by the media to influence politics in Iran and other countries…..and how effective it is….

The Role of New Media in the 2009 Iranian Elections

Robert Faris told participants that new media played a significant role, and international broadcasting services played a more important role. New media tools offer faster information access, but lack accuracy and credibility of traditional forms of media. Censorship is a challenge to use of social media tools, but due to the decentralised nature of tools such as Twitter and mobile phone short message service (SMS), they present challenges to government controls and they can reduce costs and increase efficiency for social movements. In Iran, they united a movement and disseminated information both inside and outside the country.

The Role of the Media as Watch-dogs, Agenda-setters and Gatekeepers in Arab States

“Before the advent of Arab satellite television, the idea that media might drive public opinion in a direction other than that dictated by government was essentially unthinkable, much less that media would have an agenda-setting effect independent from that of those in power.” The author describes a “seminal moment for the media” when a cellphone video of police abuse of power drew intense media interest and brought about the conviction of policemen. With the advent of satellite television and the broadcast of the channel Al-Jazeera, governments temporarily lost control of the broadcast media. Electronic media then took a role in opinion formation.”

Inspiring Political Participation

Iran’s Twitter Revolution

Poetic Engagement with Afghanistan, Caucasus and Iran: An Unexplored Strategic Opportunity?

Against All Odds: The Building of a Women’s Movement in the Islamic Republic of Iran


In 2011 the BBC World Service received a grant from the government…why?

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell called the media “one of our most powerful tools”: “We want to give people knowledge and a voice.”


BBC Media Action may have laudable chairtable aims by ensuring important information on issues such as health are disseminated to those who need it to improve their lives but there is a more political side to Media Action’s work….the BBC is not admitting this in its attacks on Boris and Gove, the BBC is at the centre of this political drama but erases its own presence at every turn not admitting it has a large role in it, blaming Boris and Gove when it should be taking the blame itself.



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4 Responses to Media Meddling

  1. john in cheshire says:

    Alan, it’s my feeling too that the far-left bbc is at the centre of this matter. Also, why are the far-left bbc operating a charity; is this allowed under their charter?


  2. Guest Who says:

    The thick plotten. And it may not always pan out.


  3. Roland Deschain says:

    So, she was employed by the BBC’s media Action, with a particular remit in the international sphere to support people to understand their rights.

    The BBC has a duty of care to its employees, and that must surely include warning them of the likely reaction of some foreign governments to that kind of activity. Particularly to an employee with dual citizenship of one of the more likely countries not to take kindly to it. Has anyone, I wonder, asked the BBC what warnings it gave this unfortunate lady regarding returning to what I presume is the land of her birth? It’s well past time the BBC had some of the heat turned back on it.


    • Amounderness Lad says:

      She moved from the BBC ‘Charity’ which holds courses for foreign journalists on how to operate in countries with non-democratic, pseudo-democratic or dictatorial regimes. I leave it up to you all to decide what methods doing that entails.

      From the BBC ‘Charity’ she then went to work as a coordinator for a ‘Charity’ created to work towards the same ends by a Canadian Broadcaster. That ‘Charity’ is registered in the US and has an HQ in London a jobs she was still doing when she chose to visit Iran.

      Prior to her going to Iran that regime had already imprisoned several journalists for, they claimed, being foreign trained and engaged in attempting to overthrow that regime. That alone, and any organisation and their employees even loosely involved with Iranian journalists would surely be aware of such matters and shouldn’t that alone be a big red flag saying Stop, don’t go.

      Even without those arrests the current state of distrust, if not animosity, by Iran with the US and the UK should be a warning to anybody with links to organisations operating in Britain or the US which trains journalists who may work in Iran that they would automatically draw the attention of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard and any Iranian would know that they operate as a law unto themselves and arrest people at a whim. After all how they operate is hardly a secret to anybody with even the slightest knowledge about both them and the Iran regime.

      If you intentionally and knowingly stick your head in the lion’s mouth you can hardly blame others if it bites you. oh, and Iran had already refused to give her husband a visa him him to visit there and there could hardly be a larger hint than that from them to warn her not to go yet still she went.

      All those details are easily available on the web so surely it is not beyond the wit of a major news agency like the bBBC to obtain even more detailed information but then again that wouldn’t be in line with their preferred leftist propaganda output.