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Iranian President lifts ban on CNN
Updated: 2006-01-17 15:20

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lifted on Tuesday a ban on the U.S.-based Cable News Network (CNN) which was imposed one day earlier due to the channel 's misinterpretation of his remarks, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in a letter sent to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance that CNN be allowed to resume its activities in view of its apology.

"We believe that accurate dissemination of news and information is necessary for political growth and awareness as well as effective interaction among nations in today's world, and the media are the main sources of disseminating useful information," Ahmadinejad said.

"Taking into account CNN's apology, we are asking that the channel be allowed to resume its activities, although we maintain the view that the news it has broadcast was contrary to professional ethics of journalism which requires truthful dissemination of news in the interest of all," he added.

Ahmadinejad further stressed that the world public opinion was mature enough to distinguish truth from error, noting that ensuring lasting peace for all mankind based on justice and spirituality is the goal of the Iranian government and nation.

On Saturday, Ahmadinejad said at a press conference that the peaceful use of nuclear energy is a right which Iran cannot be denied, but in CNN's live coverage, his remarks were interpreted into that "the use of nuclear weapons is Iran's right."

On Monday, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance imposed a ban on CNN journalists' activities in Iran, terming the mistake as against professional ethics, but the ministry also said that any revision in the decision "depends on performance of CNN in future."

Upon the awareness of the misquoting, CNN had officially apologized and made clarification for the matter, according to IRNA.

But Iran imposed the ban, insisting that CNN's mistake was unforgivable, IRNA argued in a Monday report that CNN's chief correspondent to Tehran Christian Amanpour, who was present at the conference, was born in Iran and knows the Persian-language well.

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