Iran closes Al Jazeera's Teheran bureau

Iran's lawmakers recently closed down Al Jazeera's Teheran bureau for allegedly stirring ethnic unrest in the country with its television coverage.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  April 20, 2005

More than 200 people were arrested in Iran recently for ethnic unrest in its southwest region. The nation's lawmakers also closed down Al Jazeera's Teheran bureau accusing it of stirring up trouble. "Until further investigation about the role of this channel in the recent protests in Ahvaz, Al Jazeera's offices will be closed," said Mohammad Hussein Khoshvaght, a senior Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry official in charge of supervising the foreign press. The channel was closed "for their coverage of these demonstrations which possibly provoked bandits in southwestern Iran". Al Jazeera said it regretted the 'unexpected and unwarranted decision' and called on Iranian authorities to reconsider the closure. "Al Jazeera assures its audience it will continue to cover Iranian affairs objectively and calls on the Iranian authorities to reconsider the decision," the television said in a statement.

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