HC Deb 12 June 1995 vol 261 cc375-6W
Sir Thomas Arnold

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the current arrangements for broadcasts by the World Service to Iran and Iraq. [27459]

Mr. Baldry

The World Service broadcasts to Iran in Persian for 22 hours a week. The emphasis is on news and current affairs, but programmes covering the arts, science, economics, medicine, culture and entertainment also form part of the output.

The Arabic service is on the air for 12 hours and 15 minutes every day. All broadcasts are beamed to Iraq. As the World Service's biggest foreign language service, it broadcasts a wide range of programmes, with news and current affairs as the backbone.

English language broadcasts are beamed to Iran for 18 hours a day and to Iraq for twenty-one and a half hours a day. English teaching programmes are also broadcast, either as part of the Persian and Arabic services, or as separate transmissions.

World Service output reaches Iran and Iraq mainly through shortwave transmissions from relay stations at Masirah in Oman, Cyprus and from the UK. Some medium-wave transmissions from Masirah also reach the area. Arabic service transmissions have been jammed within Iraq in the past, but no jamming is taking place at present.

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