Saturday, February 11, 2006

Censorship of the Press: Do not “Imply Defeat”

Sara Isfahani, Rooz Online:
The secretariat of Iran’s National Security Council (NSC) has asked the managers of the local press not to publish any news reports or stories regarding Iran’s referral to the UN Security Council which imply that all is lost and that the Islamic Republic has suffered a defeat.

The request asks that writers and commentators to demonstrate Iran’s national unity to foreigners by writing nationalistic and heroic articles portraying the nuclear issues as a national and popular cause. The NSC has exercised control over what the local press and publications print through such verbal or written notices to the media whenever sensitive issues take place in the country.

Last Saturday’s request specifically asks the media to observe the following in their stories:
1. Prevent fermenting any concern or fear among the public,
2. Do not imply that the issue is at an impasse or ended, and,
3. Do not imply that the Islamic Republic has failed or been defeated.
The NSC document further says that any disregard for the above is interpreted to be against the national interest of the regime. The media has also been warned that non-compliance could result in the banning of the publication.