Leaders of Iran

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

MP from Tehran Saeed Abutaleb: Way opened for private radio, TV

Iran Mania News: "Way opened for private radio, TV

Friday, October 22, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com

LONDON, Oct 22 (IranMania) - The head of the Parliament's Cultural Commission, Emad Afrough has called for expressions of interest in establishing private radio and TV channels.

The Persian daily Hambastegi further quoted Afrough as saying that the parliamentary commission would study such applications. He called on the applicants to take note of Article 44 of the Constitution which states that radio and television should be state-run. "Therefore the constitutional restrictions on the establishment of private broadcasting networks should be lifted before any authorization is granted to the private sector to engage in such activities," he added.

The lawmaker set preconditions for the applicants saying that they should not pursue financial ambitions and basically their activities should be culturally oriented. "As long as the constitutional ban has not been repealed, private applications to establish radio and television stations would remain 'on hold'," he said.

"While the need to establish private radio and television may be felt strongly, overlooking the constitutional ban would have negative impact. Once the need for private broadcasting channels becomes indispensable, we should ask the Guardian Council to interpret the constitutional article. If the Guardian Council decide that the article does not need interpretation, there are other channels to change the article," he said.

Afrough said that if the applicants were serious about launching private radio and television stations, and the expert studies support the idea, the Majlis Cultural Commission would be ready to ask for the revision of the constitutional article.

Meanwhile, another member of the cultural commission, an MP from Tehran Saeed Abutaleb said that private radio and television would be acceptable, but the views of the governing system should be taken into account in running them. Abutaleb said that private radio and television should be supervised by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) while the expenses should be provided by the private sector. "Of course, expert studies are necessary," he declared.

He said, "I do not think that the Constitution has banned private radio and television. Everyone can request for permission to set up private TV, but it is up to the IRIB to formulate a policy on this and the private sector should follow it.""

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