Judicial authorities in Iran have issued a court order freezing the assets of 150 BBC Persian journalists and former contributors, preventing them from conducting any financial transactions in Iran.
The BBC says it has an audience of over 13 million in the country, a figure which places it as the seventh biggest market worldwide.
Although the channel is banned under the law in Iran, but watched by millions via illegal satellite dishes on rooftops.
Francesca Unsworth, Director of the BBC World Service gave the Guardian the following statement:
"We deplore what appears to be a targeted attack on BBC Persian staff, former staff and some contributors. It is appalling that anyone should suffer legal or financial consequences because of their association with the BBC."
"We call upon the Iranian authorities to reverse this order urgently and allow BBC staff and former staff to enjoy the same financial rights as their fellow citizens."
BBC Persian journalists also work from outside of Iran, but authorities have also targeted them through alleged harassment of their families living within the country.
Reporters Without Borders considers Iran to be one of the five biggest prisons for journalists.
© 2000 - 2019 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)