Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL4470):
Question by Lord ALTON of Liverpool
To ask His Majesty’s Government what recent discussions they have had with the BBC concerning Persian Radio transmissions to Iran; and what was the outcome of those discussions. (HL4470)
Tabled on: 21 December 2022
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
The FCDO strongly values the BBC World Service’s role in bringing high quality and impartial broadcasting to audiences around the globe, particularly where free speech is limited.
Under BBC proposals announced on 29 September, while radio broadcasts for BBC Persian will cease, TV broadcasting will continue and investment in digital services will increase, reflecting audience viewing trends. In Iran, only 1% of the BBC’s total weekly audience of 13.8 million access BBC news solely via radio. The BBC has provided assurance that it will continue to serve audiences in need, ensuring continued access to vital news services.
We regularly raise the issue of the Iranian peoples’ right to access independent media, including BBC Persian, with the Iranian government and in multilateral fora.
Date and time of answer: 10 Jan 2023 at 15:09.