BBC Persian is a Persian language broadcast station and subsidiary of the BBC World Service that provides the latest political, social, economic, and sports news relevant to Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, as well as the world. The station is broadcast worldwide through its website and online streaming, with its television and radio services being particularly accessible in Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan. The headquarters of BBC Persian are in London, United Kingdom.
The station was first launched on December 29, 1940, during World War II, as part of the BBC's Empire Service. The intention was to counterbalance Nazi Germany's influence on Reza Shah Pahlavi, the then king of Iran. Following the war, it continued as part of the BBC General Overseas Service, with some editorial independence from the UK government. Over the years, it has been both praised and criticized, with the latter particularly during periods of tension between the UK and Iran. For instance, during the Iranian revolution in 1979, the station faced criticism from the Shah and his supporters who accused the BBC of fostering the environment for the revolution. However, due to media censorship in Iran during the revolution, BBC Persian gained a significant audience inside the country.
BBC Persian has had a web presence since May 2001 and launched BBC Persian Television in January 2009, which complemented the existing Persian-language radio and online services. The television service initially broadcast for eight hours a day, seven days a week, during peak viewing time in Iran.
As of September 2022, the World Service announced a proposed closure of its Persian and Arabic radio services as part of a cost-cutting plan, but an online service would remain, allowing audiences to listen live online.
|Address||BBC World Service Bush House Strand London WC2B 4PH|
|Phone||(+44) 020 7240 3456|