July 3, 2007

Iran starts 24-hour satellite television channel in English

mohamadi20070703011751291.jpg Iran has put into operation a 24-hour English-language satellite television channel to extend its global reach during a period of growing pressure from the United States, reports the IHT .

"Iran's state-run television operation, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, sponsors the satellite channel, called PressTV. It started Monday.

"Press TV was born out of the need to break the global media stranglehold of Western outlets," the channel's Web site says.

The channel aims to compete with other 24-hour English-language satellite channels including BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera International, which is based in Qatar.

"Press TV plans to present a new perspective to its viewers around the world," said Muhammad Sarafraz, deputy director for international affairs, the Mehr News Agency reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the staff during an opening ceremony Monday that the channel "should stay beside the oppressed people of the world," the official Islamic Republic News Agency said. "Broadcasting the truth immediately, providing precise analysis and exposing the plots of propaganda networks of the enemy is among your duties," he was quoted as saying.

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