Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster’s English-language outlet, has been forced off the air in the UK after Ofcom revoked its licence for multiple breaches of the broadcasting code.
The controversial broadcaster had been threatened with being banned from broadcasting in the UK last year, after the channel aired an interview with Maziar Bahari, an imprisoned Newsweek journalist, that had been conducted under duress.
However, after hearing final submissions the media regulatordowngraded the penalty to a fine of £100,000.
It emerged on Friday that Press TV has failed to meet the deadline for paying the fine, which was due in early January.
In addition, Ofcom has found that Press TV’s practice of running its editorial oversight from Tehran, Iran‘s capital, is in breach of broadcasting licence rules in the UK.
Ofcom is understood to have written a letter to Press TV in November highlighting the issue and offering a choice of two remedies under its UK broadcasting code.
The first was to switch editorial control for Press TV’s programming to the UK, the second to transfer the broadcasting licence to Iran.
It is understood that Press TV’s failure to respond to or implement these two options has led to Ofcom revoking its UK broadcasting licence.
You can read the revocation order here.
My contact in television compliance tells me that revocation of a broadcasting license isn’t a particularly unusual event: “they’re always revoking the smut channel licences”.
Gene adds: Salma Yaqoob of Respect tweets that it’s all part of the preparations for an attack on Iran.