Manouchehr Mohammadi, an aide to Iran’s Foreign Minister, has declared as “false” the recent statement by Persian BBC claiming the families of its staff are persecuted in Iran.
Persian BBC officials have said that the families of some of its employees have been put under pressure by Iranian authorities in Iran. In one case, one of their staff was reportedly interrogated over the internet as a family member was being held by the authorities.
Meanwhile, a number of journalists have been detained in Iran in the past month, charged with “collaboration with the BBC.”
The Fars news agency quoted Mohammadi saying: “The detainees were a group of collaborators of this anti-Iranian network.”
He added: “This network has hired a group of people to overcome the shortcomings of not having official reporters inside the country and to continue its conspiratorial objectives.”
Mohammadi went on to claim: “But this BBC tactic was defeated, and the Ministry of Intelligence has arrested its employees and now the organizers of this network are making such claims.”
Iranian authorities claim they have arrested several BBC collaborators in Iran and maintain that the detainees have been receiving large sums of money to carry out various tasks, including collecting information, producing content in various forms, training, hiring and leading the professional elite out of the country.
BBC has repeatedly announced that it has no employees or collaborators in Iran.