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Iran expels Al Arabiya scribe

world Updated: Sep 03, 2008 14:03 IST
Iran expels Al Arabiya scribe

Iran has revoked media accreditation of a senior journalist of a Dubai based channel after the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Guidance declared him persona non grata.

Al Arabiya News Channel has confirmed that Tehran bureau chief, Hassan Fahs has been declared persona non grata and his media accreditation withdrawn without any prior notice by the Iranian government.

Fahs said the decision to expel him was the latest in a series of concerted public campaigns against Al Arabiya, orchestrated by some Iranian officials and pro-government media.

The channel condemned the decision saying that Al Arabiya had "not aired any major news item about Iran without offering a fair and balanced opportunity for Iranian official spokespersons or other pro-government figures to comment".

Jawwad Jahanghir Zadeh, a member of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign relations committee, had recently called for the closure of Al Arabiya's offices in Iran and a ban on its operating staff in the country, the channel said.

Zadeh's statement came in what seems to be a response to Al Arabiya's broadcast of 'The Road to the Revolution' - an acquired documentary film, which highlights the events leading to the Iranian revolution back in 1979.

Hassan Fahs has been living in Tehran since the year 2000 and has been operating under a media accreditation from the Iranian authorities, in his dual capacity as the Tehran bureau chief for both Al Arabiya and London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.