BBC News has signed a newsgathering exchange agreement with Middle East broadcaster Al-Jazeera that could play a crucial role in the corporation’s coverage of any war in the Gulf.
The two broadcasters will get reciprocal access to material and, crucially for the BBC, it will be able to use Al-Jazeera facilities in the region.
A spokesman for the BBC, which currently has one cameraman and one producer in Iraq, said: “We are trying to get visas, but it is very hard to get in at the moment.”
By contrast, Al-Jazeera has a full studio in Baghdad.
Under the deal, the BBC will assist Al-Jazeera with its English language website, due to launch next month.