Iran has closed the Tehran bureau of Al-Arabiya, the Saudi-Arabian-backed competitor of the Al-Jazeera satellite news channel. The government also acted to shut down Internet communication among protesters sympathetic to reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi, who lost last weekend's presidential election to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad amid widespread accusations of election rigging. The protesters fought back by hacking the websites of the government-run news agencies IRNA and FARS and Press TV. Websites of leading official radio and TV stations were also down as of this morning (Tuesday). Meanwhile, CNN is denying complaints that it has been lax in covering the Iranian post-election protests. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, a CNN spokesperson said, "We share people's expectations of CNN and have delivered far more coverage of the Iranian election and aftermath than any other network." But clearly Western media outlets are having a difficult time covering the demonstrations. The BBC said today that it was barred by "tough new restrictions on the foreign media" from covering a demonstration in northern Tehran on Monday that was reportedly the largest yet.

16/06/2009