Iran’s media charm offensive following last month’s landmark nuclear deal has crossed a new frontier with a visa for a reporting trip and and high-level interviewgranted to a BBC correspondent for the first time in six years.
Kim Ghattas, the BBC’s Washington-based State Department correspondent, was allowed to spend a week in Iran and interviewed one of the country’s vice-presidents, Masumeh Ebtekar, despite the deep hostility of Tehran hardliners to the corporation.
Ebtekar, a reformist, said that Iran’s agreement to limit its nuclear activities in return for the end of sanctions represented a step forward. “It means a new era of working with the world in terms of different dimensions of trade, cultural exchanges,” she said. “It means that Iran is going to be a more prominent player in this part of the world.”
The BBC interview was the latest sign of a concerted effort by Tehran to ease access for international media and to improve the image of the Islamic Republic following the Vienna deal, the result of months of intensive negotiations with the US and five other world powers.