April 20, The Iran Project – Paying due attention to the United Kingdom is deeply rooted in the Iranian mass media and many factors are involved in this end.
The history of relations between Iran and Britain, the ups and downs in relations of the two countries and the impact of this small island on Iran during the past several years ago are considered as the main reasons behind the attention of Iranian mass media to the UK.
A brief review on Iran-UK relations shows that some Iranian media are paying attention to the Britain due to the below reasons:
A: UK’s issues and domestic developments
B: UK relations with EU, US, Russia and other countries
C: UK relations, its stance on Iran and the country regional and international policy
E: News about British celebrities, sports news, etc…
D: Stance of BBC Persian
Regarding the above political orientation, the Iranian mass media has taken different stances toward UK. As per an unwritten agreement, the Iranian media has taken vigilance and prudence policy and at the same time have hostile approach towards UK due to the bottom reasons:
1- The positive approach of some Iranian media to BBC Persian:
Due to the activities of BBC Persian and the cooperation of few veteran Iranian journalists with this channel or their cooperation with the Iranian media, most of the Iranian mass media in the country are avoiding of direct confrontation with the British media and are trying to close off the flow.
2- Lack of formal communication between the British Embassy and the Iranian media
Most foreign embassies in Iran have an attache aimed at holding connection between the ambassadors and other diplomats and the Iranian officials and unofficial media.
But because of the history of Britain meddling in Iran and the sensitivity of Iranian regulatory authorities, the journalists do not dare to coordinate with the British Embassy. Possibly there is no such an official in the British embassy to contact with other journalists following the reopening of embassy in Iran.
3- The hostile approach to UK because of its intervention in Iran in the past and present time:
This view which is traced in most of the Iranian media, has deep roots in the country. And indeed the UK is remembered as the mother of evil and “old fox” in Iran and is mentioned so far as the main reason behind any unrest against Iran and all the security issues and problems are attributed to this country.
With this approach, there is no possibility of a positive attitude to the UK and this kind of prejudice could always be traced in the Iranian mass media.
4- The sensitivity of public opinion to UK interference
The UK meddling in Iran parliamentary elections in 2016; the case of Iranian journalists deceived by the UK; and their influence on the Iranian mass media are considered as the main reason behind the sensitivity of public opinion about Britain.
5- The deprecate of public support from the UK
A large number of Iranian mass media, the conservative ones in particular, have bitter memories from UK interference in Iran affairs. And also there is a disproval for public advocating of UK in reformist media.
6- The official prohibition of having communication with the UK media
As per the Iran’s Supreme National Security Council policy, the Iranian media are prohibited of having relations with British media.
There is a kind of anxiety in dealing with issues related to UK in the Iranian mass media.
A review of several Iranian media reactions to a number of UK issues show that the above approaches are commonly perused in the current Iranian media towards UK.
And we could not also expect a positive or negative gesture from the Iranian media, except for the sports news.
The trip of a British woman diplomat with a French man to the northwest of Iran, was emerged as an spy trip from the Iranian conservative media.
The Iranian media severely show their protests to the foreign ministry over the trip; but Iranian foreign ministry said the trip was legal.
Arresting of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was another issue which was mainly covered in the conservative media for showing reaction to the foreign media’s pressure. The issue of arresting her by the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps was one of the reason behind covering this news in different Iranian mass media aimed at defending the performance of this revolutionary institution.
The reports about the exit of UK from the EU was completely covered in the Iranian mass media. A number of Iranian intelligentsia and the so-called Angelo Phil was also shocked like some other people across the world over the Brexit. Because the destiny of UK after leaving EU and the impact of this withdrawal on Iran is unknown.
The Persian version of this article is also published here