Iranian media report that Reuters has apologized for running an inaccurate headline last month that said female ninja assassins were being trained in Iran.
The Mehr News Agency reports that Mohmmad Hosseiny, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, said yesterday: “They [Reuters News Agency] have apologized and want to resume their activities in Iran, but we are currently awaiting the court’s ruling.”
Reuters ran a report last month showing a number of Iranian women training in martial arts in Karaj. The report said Iran was training more than 3,000 female ninjas to kill foreign invaders.
After Iranian media and the female martial arts trainees denounced the report as inaccurate, Reuters made a number of changes to parts of the report but refrained from apologizing.
On March 28, the Iranian women whom Reuters accused of being assassins announced that they would take legal action against Reuters for defamation of character, and on April 2, Iran proceeded to revoke the press cards of Reuters staff.
MohammadJavad Aghajari, the head of the foreign media section of the Ministry of Culture, made reference to the original “Female Ninja Assassins” title chosen by Reuters, saying: “Choosing such a title and referring to assassin- and terrorist-training in Iran in relation to fragments of their interviews with Iranian female athletes shows that this news agency intended to divert public perception in the world.”
He added that Reuters’ activities in Iran have been temporarily suspended until the issue can be resolved.