Iran has given Reuters news agency permission to reopen its Tehran bureau after work there was suspended in March 2012 over one of its video reports, a culture ministry official said on Saturday.
“The court authorised Reuters to open its Tehran bureau,” deputy culture minister Mohammad Jafar Mohammadzadeh told the ISNA news agency, without specifying when the decision was made.
“Last week the ministry told Reuters it could restart its work in Iran,” he added.
In September 2012, a court found Reuters guilty of “propaganda against the regime”, and “publishing false information in an effort to disturb public opinion” in a report portraying female ninja students as assassins.
Tehran withdrew the press credentials of all staff at the bureau after the story was published in March 2012 and suspended the work of the news agency, part of the New York-based Thomson Reuters group.
The case stems from a Reuters video report on a group of female ninjas training in the martial art in the city of Karaj, west of Tehran. The original headline on the story erroneously read “Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran’s assassins”.
Reuters subsequently changed the headline to read “Three thousand women Ninjas train in Iran”. It later removed the report.
Reuters global editor in chief, Stephen Adler, told The New York Times newspaper last March that the headline mistake was not malicious, and added: “I don’t see factual errors in the story.”
Domestic Iranian and foreign media outlets in the Islamic republic need permission from the culture and Islamic guidance ministry to operate.
The authorities routinely monitor and restrict the activities of the few journalists working for foreign media in Iran.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]