BBC condemns move to freeze assets of World Service staff based in Iran

The Director of the BBC World Service has called on the Iranian authorities to reverse a new order which seeks to freeze the assets of BBC staff in Iran.

The order apparently prevents them from selling or buying property, cars and other goods.

BBC World Service Director Francesca Unsworth said: “We deplore what appears to be a targeted attack on BBC Persian staff, former staff, and some contributors.

“It is appalling that anyone should suffer legal or financial consequences because of their association with the BBC.

“We call upon the Iranian authorities to reverse this order urgently and allow BBC staff and former staff to enjoy the same financial rights as their fellow citizens.”

The BBC’s Persian Service is banned in Iran and BBC Persian staff and their families have faced harassment and questioning from the authorities.

The BBC World Service claims to reach an audience of 13m in Iran, making it the seventh biggest market worldwide for BBC News.

BBC Persian broadcasts on a dedicated TV channel, on radio and online.

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