BBC Trust rejects complaint of 'one sided view' of Iran

BBC Trust has cleared the corporation’s news division of breaching editorial guidelines after an accusation that an online Q&A about Iran’s nuclear programme gave a one-sided and inaccurate view.

In a report published today, the trust’s editorial standards committee rejected a complaint which alleged the article, from October last year, implied Iran had a nuclear weapons programme.

The Trust found the Q&A article had been accurate and that all opinions within it had been properly attributed.

The complaint arose during the course of correspondence between the BBC and the complainant over an earlier complaint, which it dismissed in February, 2009, the trust said today.

As a result of the initial complaint the BBC updated the online Q&A clarify a number of points.

This failed to satisfy the complainant who said that the Q&A implied Iran had a nuclear weapons programme even though the “International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have never been able to verify this claim”.

The complainant argued the article made no mention of threats against India which led to Iran being referred to the UN Security Council in 2006.

In response, the BBC’s director of news replied in December denying the article was one-sided and also added a link on the Q&A to a piece on India’s position on the Iranian nuclear dispute.

The complainant remained unsatisfied and appealed to the ethical standards committee. However, the committee concluded that article had met the editorial guidelines.

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