BBC Narrates the Iranian Revolution

BBC Narrates the Iranian Revolution
Author: Houshang Mahdavi, Abdollah
First Edition
Book Review
Published @ December 2008
Total pages: 580
Price: 47000 Rls
ISBN: 978-964-419-292-0

BBC Radio is a news broadcasting agency associated with British Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the establishment of this board is to, gain other nations' support for Britain, provide ground for investment in foreign countries, retain Britain's interest and, destruct figures in opposition with colonialism. This news board provided the grounds for military occupation of Iran at the threshold of the Second World War. BBC radio was even used as an instrument to serve the coupe in 1953.
BBC news board has always cunningly sought to weaken the progress of the Islamic revolution. By launching psychological war, this news board tried to prevent the triumph of the Islamic revolution. By news analysis and broadcast, BBC tried to cause schism between revolutionary forces, intrigue the military against revolutionary forces, discourage the revolutionaries from establishing an Islamic theocracy by making the government of the time look powerful, making progressive movement of the mass look like a movement towards chaos and, intimidate the public not to participate in rallies.
BBC launched a psychological war through publishing selective news from British press at the time of Imam Khomeini's entrance to Iran. This board, in its evening news at January 30th, announced that: "Chaos in Iran" is ruling and Iran is "taking first steps towards civil war". With regards to the Islamic Republic, this radio station stated that: "the emergence of such unity supporting the Islamic Republic scheme is deceptive" and we should not allow "Khomeini's autocratic mindset to be imposed on the mass". This radio station tried to intrigue both left and right opposition forces against Khomeini. For this reason, BBC radio has been criticized by the clergies several times.
Nevertheless, the statesmen could not tolerate Khomeini's name and the news of demonstrations, however distorted, to be mentioned in BBC Radio. Regarding the reason of Military commanders' objection to BBC Radio, General Huyser wrote:" BBC was not really against Shah's regime. It both interviewed the opposition forces and regime's advocates. It casted news which the regime preferred to stay unsaid. So, the Generals were right to mention BBC as "evil ". In response to General Azhaari's objection to BBC news Parsons said:" I spoke to the BBC reporter in Tehran; the reporter showed me the collection of news reports of the past few weeks and I found nothing wrong with them."
Iranian statesmen tried to silent BBC's voice about the events in Iran. The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under statement's pressure, forced Parviz Raji, Iran's ambassador in Britain, to write a letter of complain to Mark Dad, the head of Eastern affairs in BBC. Mark responded: "How do you expect BBC to overlook a phenomenon called Khomeini who is playing an influential role in Iran's political situation?" Moreover:"Since BBC has never broadcasted Khomeini's revolutionary speeches, it is receiving several letters from Iranians who has accused BBC of not acknowledging this great movement of Iranians. They state that: how has BBC, who calls itself the preacher of freedom and democracy, stayed indifferent to Iranians' demands?" Gerald Meisel, the managing director of BBC, on October 14th revealed the policy of this radio station through a letter to Iran's ambassador. He wrote: "In my point of view, one should accept the fact that Khomeini has played an important role in politics of Iran during the past few decades. Therefore, it is natural for each sentence he says, each step he takes, to be seen by the international media, including BBC. However, it is important to note that based on the rules of the news room of BBC foreign service, from May on, broadcasting the news about Khomeini's activities has never took more than half of the news broadcasted about Iran; the news of which 23 cases were about Ayatollahs of Iranian residency."
BBC Radio, having this background and following this policy, kept on analyzing the Islamic Revolution. BBC could never hide its oppositional views of the Islamic Revolution and it mostly interviewed those with anti-revolutionary sentiments. Nevertheless, the Islamic Revolution was as such that even its enemies could not overlook it. The viewpoint of those who are critical of the Islamic Revolution can propose questions for historians to set further investigation based on available documents.
"BBC Narrates the Iranian Revolution" is noteworthy because this news broadcast agency has managed a collection of memories and judgments of those in opposition with the Islamic Revolution. For the ones who investigate the Islamic Revolution it is significantly important to take into account other viewpoints and opinions about the glorious Islamic Revolution.

Translated by: Jairan Gahan

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