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BBC World Service Director calls on Iranian authorities to reverse asset freeze on BBC staff

The Director of the BBC World Service has called on the Iranian authorities to reverse a new order which appears effectively to freeze the assets of BBC staff in Iran, preventing them from selling or buying property, cars and other goods.


BBC World Service Director Francesca Unsworth says: “We deplore what appears to be a targeted attack on BBC Persian staff, former staff, and some contributors. It is appalling that anyone should suffer legal or financial consequences because of their association with the BBC.

“We call upon the Iranian authorities to reverse this order urgently and allow BBC staff and former staff to enjoy the same financial rights as their fellow citizens.”

The BBC’s Persian Service is banned in Iran and BBC Persian staff and their families routinely face harassment and questioning from the authorities.

Despite the ban, the latest figures show the BBC World Service has an audience of 13m in Iran, making it BBC News’ seventh biggest market worldwide.

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