CNN apologizes to Iran for mistranslating Ahmadinejad statement on nuclear technology

Published January 17th, 2006 - 11:43 GMT

Iran on Tuesday reversed its decision to ban the US news network, CNN, from Iranian airwaves following an apology from CNN for mistranslating statements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Iran had imposed the ban on Monday after Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying that Iran has the right to build "nuclear weapons" when he had in fact referred to nuclear "technology."


CNN later admitted the mistake in a broadcast.


Hard-liners, however, called the mistranslation "deliberate," and accused the network of trying to tarnish the image of Iran at a crucial moment when UN Security Council members debate what steps to take regarding Iran's nuclear program.


The Iranian newspaper, Jomhuria Islami called CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour a "CIA and Mossad agent with a bad record," according to The Scottsman.


Additionally, the Kayhan newspaper quoted prominent hard-liner Hossein Shariatmadari, a close aide to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying that the chances of CNN making such a "mistake" at this crucial moment were next to nothing.


"The distortion was deliberate with the aim of preventing the impact of the president's comments on the public opinion," wrote Shariatmadari.


However, President Ahmadinejad reportedly  stressed CNN's apology in a letter to Iran's Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi.


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