Iran bars CNN from working in country, accuses network of mistranslating president's speech

Monday, January 16th 2006, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Iran said Monday it is barring CNN from working in Iran ``until further notice'' due to its mistranslation of comments made by the president in a recent news conference about the country's nuclear research.

In a speech Saturday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended Iran's right to continue nuclear research. State media have complained since the speech that CNN used the translation ``nuclear weapons'' instead of ``nuclear technology.''

The ban by the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry was read in a statement on state-run television.

``Due to mistranslation of the words of Ahmadinejad during his press conference, activities of the American CNN in Tehran are banned until further notice,'' the statement said.

CNN acknowledged the mistake.

``CNN quoted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that Iran has the right to build nuclear weapons,'' the network said in its report of the ban. ``In fact he said that Iran has the right to nuclear energy. He added that, quote, a nation that has civilization does not need nuclear weapons and our nation does not need them. CNN has clarified what the Iranian president said and apologized here on the air to the Iranians directly, as well as on the air.''

CNN told viewers it had not been officially notified about the ban.