Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini considers baseless the accusations of the BBC World Service Director Peter Horrocks that the relatives of staff working for BBC incur pressure from the government in Iran.
BBC promoted the colonial policy of Britain, caused a controversy in society, and therefore, its activity in Iran has been stopped, Hosseini told Trend.
According to Horrocks, after BBC displayed a documentary film about the Supreme Religious Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran, six documentary filmmakers were arrested, also the families of ten Iranian staff working for BBC incurred pressure.
The journalists who cooperate with some foreign media outlets were warned to be attentive with the media outlets, of which activities run counter to the interests of the Iranian state. Some journalists have been punished, the minister said in an interview with Trend.
"There were many people who came to Iran under the guise of journalists, but then engaged in spying," said Hosseini. According to the minister, the freedom of speech in Iran is at a high level, all conditions have been created for the media outlets in the country, more than 4,500 media outlets have been registered, of which 3,000 are currently working.
Last week, BBC displayed a documentary film made by Iranian filmmakers. The filmmakers Mujtaba Mirtahmasb, Katayun Shahabi, Nadi Afaride, Shakhnam Bazdar, Nasir Shafarian and Mohsen Shahnazdar were arrested on charges of spying and sale of the movie to BBC.
According to head of the BBC Persian desk, Sadeg Saba, these people are not official employees of BBC, have not made a special film for BBC, and sent to BBC a tape taken before.