Budget Cutbacks Force Iran Broadcasting Closings
There will be…closures of the bureaus.
OE Watch Commentary: According to the Iranian constitution, one of the primary purposes of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to export its revolution. While the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite Qods Force are one element of this, the Iranian government has among the most active media and propaganda wings in the world, with outlets broadcasting not only in Persian, but in Arabic and English as well, and with bureaus on almost every continent. Perhaps not for too much longer, however. The excerpted article from the conservative website Tabnak reports that the boom is dropping on the Central News Units—the primary news bureaus of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). While IRIB outlets will remain open in New York, London, Baghdad, and perhaps Damascus, other units through Europe, the Middle East, South America and Central Asia will close. Damascus is actually listed on both the remain-open and slated-for-closure list, but this appears to be an error, with Cairo instead slated for closure. The Iranian government, however, will continue to support its English-language and Arabic-language outlets, perhaps relying on news and feeds purchased on the open market instead, much as American outlets like CNN often purchase film or coverage from local sources in areas where they do not have their own bureaus.
The closure of such bureaus may also impact the Iranian military’s operational capabilities as Iranian officials have in the past used its journalistic bureaus for cover and surveillance for terrorist operations.
That said, the current financial crisis caused by the precipitous decline in oil prices shows clearly the Iranian government’s priorities, as it shutters peripheral capabilities and perhaps curtails some social services while simultaneously expanding the reach of the Iranian military. End OE Watch Commentary (Rubin)
Source: “Ta’atili Dafatar-e Vahed-e Markazi Khabar dar Sarasar Jahan” (Closure of [Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting] Central News Units around the World), Tabnak.ir, 14 January 2015. http://goo.gl/F6Ij7p
Closure of News Bureaus Around the World
Considering changes in the structure of television news-gathering and the management of news stories, there will be fundamental reforms in the structure in the Central News Units and closures of the bureaus which have the lowest production in different countries.
Accordingly, the four offices in the cities most important to Iran—New York, London, Damascus and Baghdad—will be maintained but the others will be closed. And world events will be covered through the feeds of PressTV [Iran’s English-language channel] and al-Alam [Iran’s Arabic-language channel], or other news network competitors… And, if necessary, a news team can be deployed to a country or city which is at the heart of the news. Iran had reporters with these based in four European countries: France, Belgium, Germany and Britain… Accordingly, the units up for closure are in Caracas, Brussels, Pretoria, Moscow, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur, Ankara, Paris, Beirut, Berlin, Damascus, Islamabad, Dushanbe, Beijing, Rome, and Buenos Aires, and certainly some journalists are assigned to the Central News Unit as a second job, and in these countries they have other professionals….